Clive Charles is a legend in the Portland area.
He’s been gone almost 10 years now, succumbing in 2003 to prostate cancer.
Charles was a pro soccer player for West Ham United in England beginning in 1970. He then played for some other pro teams before making his way to the Portland Timbers in 1978.
He continued his career in Portland indoors and outdoors until 1981. His jersey #3 is retired by the Timbers.
Eventually, he was offered a high school coaching job near the Portland area.
Three years after he started coaching the high school team, he was hired by the University of Portland. He took on coaching duties for both the men’s and women’s teams.
His coaching experience led to his taking over the U.S. U-23 Men’s National team.
Charles is the inspiration/face in the middle of the gigantic banner spread hanging from this past week’s Portland-Seattle game. The banner is meant to motivate the crowd at the beginning of the match. It reads ‘Legends are Born when the Previous are Surpassed.’
For more info on other aspects of the banner, click here.
Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com