A widely respected player, Dave Clements was a footballer of calm and composure who, in 1975, captained Everton to within a few points of the league title.
After breaking through as a teenage left winger with Portadown in the early 1960s, Clements was scouted by Wolves and signed for them as an 18-year-old in 1963. After failing to make an appearance at Molineux, in 1964 he signed for Coventry City, making the first of 48 Northern Ireland appearances during the 1964/65 season. In 1967 he was an important part of the team that lifted the Second Division title, and he continued to make an impression in the First Division. In 1971 he joined Sheffield Wednesday in a part-exchange deal valued at £100,000. A versatile player who was capable of fitting in at left back, defensive midfield or the left side of midfield, his versatility clearly made him attractive to Billy Bingham, who paid Wednesday £60,000 for him in September 1973.
TALL, MUSCULAR and cultured in possession, Clements played most of his Everton career in defensive roles. For the 1974/75 season he was made club captain as Everton went close to lifting the league title, and was also appointed penalty-taker. An influential and distinguished player, his lack of pace meant he could never quite live up to the illustrious example set by Howard Kendall, who he came to replace. Through the 1975/76 season he was replaced in midfield, usually reverting to left back as Everton lost their way under Bingham.
An erudite and intelligent man, who also captained his country, in March 1975 he replaced Terry Neill as Northern Ireland manager, simultaneously serving as a player.
In February 1976, Clements received a lucrative offer to join up with Pele at New York Cosmos in the NASL. In 1977 he was reputedly interviewed as a successor to Bingham as Everton manager, but the job went to Gordon Lee. His break as a coach came in 1978 when he became player-manager of Colorado Caribous for the only year of its existence. Through the 1980s he coached at Denver Avalanche, St Louis Steamers and Kansas City Comets in the Major Indoor Soccer League.