Player profile

Sammy Smyth

Sammy Smyth

Birthdate: 25 February 1925
Birthplace: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Date of death: 19 October 2016
Other clubs: Distillery (1942-44), Linfield (1944-47), Dundela (1947), Wolverhampton Wanderers (1947-51), Stoke City (1951-52), Bangor (1955)
Bought from: Stoke City
Signed for LFC: £12,000, December 1952
International debut: 04.10.1947 vs Scotland
International caps: 9/5 - 08.03.1950
Liverpool debut: 03.01.1953
Last appearance: 24.04.1954
Debut goal: 07.02.1953
Last goal: 19.04.1954
Contract expiry: January 1955
Win ratio: 29.55% W:13 D:6 L:25
Games/goals ratio: 2.2
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 8 / 2
LFC league games/goals: 44 / 20
Total LFC games/goals: 44 / 20

Player profile

Belfast-born inside-forward Smyth played for his hometown club Linfield before moving to Wolves in July 1947. His highlight there was scoring a goal in a 3-1 victory in the 1949 FA Cup final against Leicester City. After four years, 115 appearances and 43 goals at Molineux, he was transferred to Stoke City where he scored 19 goals in 44 games for the struggling first division club. Smyth joined Liverpool when he was 27 years old and went straight into the team. He made his debut on 3 January 1953 when Liverpool visited the club he had just signed from. But it was no happy return. Stoke won 3-1 and Liverpool lost their next two matches as well to give them an unenviable record of just three points from the last 22 and in very real danger of relegation to the Second Division. After just one league victory in 15 games, Smyth scored in the next three matches, all of which were won. The seven goals he managed to score from 18 games were a big factor in Liverpool just climbing to safety by the end of the season.

But a year later, an even better strike-rate, 13 from 26 games, couldn't prevent relegation despite a late rally which saw four victories in six games. The club's proud record of being a first division club for nearly 50 years was at an end. Smyth wanted to focus on his business in his native Northern Ireland so Liverpool had to cope without their top-scorer in the Second Division. Manager Don Welsh was disappointed in losing Smyth but wished him well: “Sammy is quite rightly looking to his future and we accept that. We will miss him, but we’ll get by without him.” Smyth was a bookmaker and then opened his own sports shop business.

Smyth passed away on 19 October 2016, then Liverpool FC's oldest surviving player. “Daddy was always very humble, and he remembered his days at Wolves with much sentiment,” said daughter Sheena Smyth Conolly. “But he was always very modest about his success. He was just fun-loving. A great character, who always had a twinkle in his eye. He had a great sense of humour, but he had no time for big egos or pomposity – a dignified gentleman.”

Smyth moved to the Cayman Islands from County Down, where he lived after his football career finished, selling sports equipment.

Appearances per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 44 0 0 0 0 44
1952-1953 18 0 0 0 0 18
1953-1954 26 0 0 0 0 26

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

Total Opponent
4 Chelsea
3 Blackpool
3 Manchester City
3 Bolton Wanderers
3 WBA
3 Arsenal
3 Cardiff City
3 Middlesbrough
3 Sunderland
2 Aston Villa
2 Manchester United
2 Newcastle United
2 Portsmouth
1 Preston North End
1 Huddersfield Town
1 Charlton Athletic
1 Derby
1 Stoke City
1 Sheffield United
1 Sheffield Wednesday
1 Wolves
Total Competition
44 League

Goals per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 20 0 0 0 0 20
1952-1953 7 0 0 0 0 7
1953-1954 13 0 0 0 0 13

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

Total Competition
20 League
Total Goal minute period
3 1-15 minutes
3 16-30 minutes
3 31-45 minutes
3 61-75 minutes
4 76-90 minutes
Total Open play/Penalty
20 Open play

Milestone Appearances

# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 03.01.1953 Stoke City Victoria Ground League

Milestone Goals

# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 22 07.02.1953 Middlesbrough Ayresome Park League

Related Articles

The last of the great Wanderers

By James Whittaker on 12 May, 2015. Published on the compasscayman.com.More

Other Clubs

Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Distillery 1942-1944 Northern Regional League N/A N/A N/A N/A
Linfield 1944-1947 Northern Regional League N/A N/A N/A N/A
Dundela 1947 Irish Intermediate League N/A N/A N/A N/A
Wolves 1947-1948 England First Division 30 8 30 8
Wolves 1948-1949 England First Division 39 16 46 22
Wolves 1949-1950 England First Division 29 9 35 12
Wolves 1950-1951 England First Division 3 0 3 0
Wolves 1951-1952 England First Division 1 1 1 1
Stoke City 1951-1952 England First Division 26 12 30 14
Stoke City 1952-1953 England First Division 14 5 14 5
Bangor City 1955 Northern Ireland N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total 142 51 159 62
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