- Sam English
Infobox Football biography
playername = Sam English
fullname = Samuel English
August 18, 1908
dateofdeath = 1967
Vale of Leven
years = 1929-31 1931-33 1933-35 1935-36 1936-38
clubs = Yoker Athletic Rangers Liverpool Queen of the South Hartlepool United
caps(goals) = 47 (24)
nationalyears = 1933
nationalteam = fb|Ireland
nationalcaps(goals) = 2 (1)
He was born in the hamlet of Crevolea in Aghadowey,
County Londonderry, Ireland. Dubious|date=September 2008 In 1924 his family moved to Dalmuirin Scotland, and for a time he worked at the John Brown & CompanyShipyard.
During the 1930s he played with Yoker Athletic Juniors and with Rangers. He holds the Rangers record for the most goals scored in one season: 44 goals in 1931-32. He also played for Ireland a number of times.
However, his career was overshadowed by an incident in September 1931 where he was involved in an accidental collision with John Thomson, the Celtic
goalkeeper. Thomson dived for the ball and his head collided with English's knee (not, as is often assumed, his boot). He suffered serious injuries to his skull and died in hospital a few hours later.
The official enquiry later found that the collision was an accident, and cleared English of any blame, a view which was fully supported by John Thomson's family and all players from both teams who were on the field at the time. Nevertheless, English was deeply traumatised by what had happened to Thomson.
Although he was cleared of malice in the John Thomson incident, jeering by Scottish crowds caused his transfer to England. He played for Liverpool, then Queen of the South, and Hartlepool United. He was to find that his reputation had preceded him, he often faced similar taunts, and he never recovered his playing form. Eventually he gave up football at the age of only 28.
He died in the
Vale of LevenHospital, in West Dunbartonshire, at the age of only 58 after battling motor neurone disease.
* [http://nifootball.blogspot.com/2006/10/sam-english.html Northern Ireland’s Footballing Greats]
*Sam English's Football League career history at [http://www.since1888.co.uk www.since1888.co.uk]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7313835.stm "Honour call for NI soccer star"] BBC News
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