Player profile

Sam English

Sam English

Birthdate: 18 August 1908
Birthplace: Aghadowey, Coleraine Borough Council, Ireland
Date of death: 12 April 1967
Other clubs: Port Glasgow Athletic Juniors, Old Kilpatrick, Yoker Athletic (1929-31), Rangers (1931-33), Queen of the South (1935-36), Hartlepools United (1936-38)
Bought from: Rangers
Signed for LFC: £8,000, 24.07.1933
International debut: 12.09.1932 vs. Scotland
International caps: 2/1 - 07.12.1932
Liverpool debut: 26.08.1933
Last appearance: 27.04.1935
Debut goal: 30.08.1933
Last goal: 02.03.1935
Contract expiry: 30.07.1935
Win ratio: 32% W:16 D:9 L:25
Games/goals ratio: 1.92
LFC league games/goals: 47 / 24
Total LFC games/goals: 50 / 26

Player profile

English was a powerful centre-forward who joined Liverpool from Rangers before the start of the 1933/34 season. He achieved legendary status at Rangers as he broke the club's scoring record in his debut 1931/32 season scoring 44 goals in 35 league games, a record that still stands! A more incredible feat considering that all his goals came from open play. English could dispatch the ball into the net easily with both feet, was lightning fast and a brilliant header of the ball. He scored five goals in only his second league game for Rangers in a 7-3 win over Morton and had scored a total of 12 goals in six league games that historic season when his collision with Celtic's goalkeeper, John Thomson, on 5 September 1931 at Ibrox changed English's existence. Thomson's head hit English's knee after the striker had struck the ball that the 'keeper deflected past the post. An artery ruptured in Thomson's right temple which led to the 22-year-old's death. English, who was just five months older than Thomson, was on many occasions mercilessly taunted by rival fans and players for this horrible accident to put him off his game and his family suffered abuse as well even though an official enquiry cleared English of any blame. Rangers finished runners-up that season but English's nine goals in seven matches helped them win the Scottish Cup. English scored only 11 goals in 30 league and cup matches in his second season but Rangers still won the championship.

English made a blistering start to his Anfield career and by the halfway stage of the 1933/34 season he had already scored 16 times. But he only started eight matches during the second half of the season, scoring a further four times. Although not selected on the opening day of the following season, he then had a run of 11 consecutive matches in which he hit the net three times before losing his place in the side. His appearances after that were restricted and he played his final game for Liverpool in the penultimate first division fixture of the 1934/35 season, away to Tottenham. Despite being in and out of the team, English still finished with a good goals-per-game record of 26 strikes from exactly 50 matches. The Northern-Irishman returned to Scotland with Queen of the South before moving back south in 1936 to play for Hartlepools United in Third Division North. After scoring 31 goals in 75 matches he retired at the end of the 1937/38 season disillusioned with football at the age of 28. He said that his career since the Thomson accident had been "seven years of joyless sport." He died in the Vale of Leven Hospital in Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire on 12 April 1967 after battling Motor neurone disease. His Rangers' teammate, Bob McPhail, paid English the ultimate praise: "Though I never played with the great Dixie Dean of Everton, I did play against him. I would have taken English before him."

Appearances per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 47 3 0 0 0 50
1933-1934 28 3 0 0 0 31
1934-1935 19 0 0 0 0 19

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

Total Opponent
3 Middlesbrough
3 Portsmouth
3 Manchester City
3 Blackburn Rovers
3 Everton
3 Arsenal
3 Birmingham City
3 Sheffield Wednesday
3 Tottenham
2 Grimsby Town
2 Leicester City
2 WBA
2 Sunderland
2 Leeds United
2 Preston North End
2 Chelsea
1 Newcastle United
1 Aston Villa
1 Derby
1 Stoke City
1 Fulham
1 Wolves
1 Bolton Wanderers
1 Sheffield United
1 Tranmere Rovers
Total Competition
47 League
3 FA Cup

Goals per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 24 2 0 0 0 26
1933-1934 18 2 0 0 0 20
1934-1935 6 0 0 0 0 6

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

Total Competition
24 League
2 FA Cup
Total Open play/Penalty
26 Open play

Milestone Appearances

# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 26.08.1933 Wolves Molineux League
50 27.04.1935 Tottenham White Hart Lane League

Milestone Goals

# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 66 30.08.1933 Stoke City Anfield League

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Other Clubs

Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Port Glasgow Athletic Juniors Scottish Junior Football League  N/A N/A N/A N/A
Old Kilpatrick N/A N/A N/A N/A
Yoker Athletic 1929-1931 Scottish Junior Football League  N/A N/A N/A N/A
Rangers 1931-1932 Scotland Division 1 35 44 42 53
Rangers 1932-1933 Scotland Division 1 25 10 30 11
Queen of the South 1935-1936 Scotland Division 1 8 0 8 0
Hartlepool United 1936-1937 England Third Division North 34 18 37 20
Hartlepool United 1937-1938 England Third Division North 35 9 38 11
Total 137 81 155 95
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