Back in the day Mark Chamberlain was a flying winger of panache and flair who never really got his full dues.

A pertinent example of this was in the Maracanã in 1984 when Chamberlain – in one of only eight outings for England – put in such an exhilarating performance against full-back Junior that Brazilian journalists wished out loud that he wore the famous Samba yellow and green. “You play like a Brazilian” they proclaimed as he left for the airport back to a nation who viewed him as a decent Stoke player but little more.

Just before half-time in that now legendary friendly John Barnes danced through half of the opposition and scored a goal of a lifetime. Consequently few recall the glittering performance on the other flank that evening.

In fact the rapping Lucazade-guzzler was often the reason for Chamberlain being under-appreciated as he fell short in comparison. It once prompted former pro Graham Barnett to call him a “black jewel” and to eulogize, “He’s got the bloody lot and is so much better than John Barnes”.

Alas the record books – as harsh and indisputable as ever – disproves this: Chamberlain ably represented a number of middling clubs but never really ignited into the big time despite persistent interest from Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea. In a career that spanned precisely two decades his personal honours roll was limited to those handful of England caps and inclusion in the PFA Fourth Division team of 1981 when he started out at Port Vale.

Now though Chamberlain’s actions and influence could have a major bearing on England’s future, far more so than any dip of his shoulder could yield in his heyday.

While Barnes was failing at management and punditry alike in a succession of God-awful suits the unassuming gent from Stoke-On-Trent was busy rearing the prodigious young talent who is currently lighting up the Emirates and will soon enough do likewise for the national side.

It is not implausible to suggest that both Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain could be terrorising international defences for a decade to come.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (the ‘Oxlade’ is bequeathed from his mother who was concerned the name would die out following the passing of Alex’s uncle in a car accident) potentially offers England a welter of attacking esprit, the likes of which they’ve lacked for a generation or more. Though we’re loathe to hype up fledgling promise too much there is no question the lad is potentially very special, possessing pace, innate awareness, a fantastic touch and an all-round ability that continues to surprise. All of this is harnessed within a nineteen year old who has the build of a heavyweight that’s impressively off-set by a balletic balance. With only six appearances for Arsenal under his belt already his pulsating displays of youthful adventure have quelled the growing unrest from Gooners concerned about the club’s stalled vision under Wenger. Excitingly for both Arsenal and England fans there is unquestionably much more to come. Indeed he offers his country more cause for optimism than any home-grown product since ‘remember the name’ Wayne Rooney.

Inevitably some of the accolades from whatever good and great things the kid ultimately achieves in the game will be passed onto Wenger but never underestimate the power of guidance from a father, especially one who has been there and done it previously.

Following Alex’s wondergoal against Olympiakos in the Champion’s League back in October he strolled into the players lounge justifiably pleased with himself.

His dad took the stuffing straight out of him by immediately stating ‘Well done. We’ll talk about the defensive stuff later’

Bestowing this sublime talent upon us is a gift enough but Mark Chamberlain’s influence over the possible bright future of Team England extends further still. During a spell coaching youngsters at Southampton he passed on all his experience and knowledge to a callow fifteen year old who keenly absorbed every word knowing that the former Stoke and Portsmouth right winger had represented his country in the position he was learning to master. The fifteen year olds name? Theo Walcott.

It is not implausible to suggest that both Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain could be terrorising international defences for a decade to come.

Incredibly there is more. With another exciting off-spring in 13 year old Christian showing immense promise down at Portsmouth – whose development has been described by Alex as “My dad’s next project” – there could conceivably be three lions taking us to glory all raised or tutored by a man so humble he who once silenced the Maracanã without a fuss.

Mark Chamberlain may not have fulfilled his sparkling early promise during his playing days – though that assessment is a touch harsh in fairness – and he may not have won as many England caps as was expected of him. But his contribution to his country may yet prove to be very significant indeed.