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Sammy Morgan Bio

Samuel John Morgan (born 3 December 1946) is a Northern Irish former footballer, who now works as Academy Manager at Ipswich Town.

Moving from non-league Gorleston to Port Vale in 1970, the young forward picked up the club's Player of the Year award 1972, before winning a move to Aston Villa the following year. Villa won promotion out of the Second Division in 1974–75, though he was never a first team regular and so was sold on to Brighton & Hove Albion later in 1975. Helping Brighton to promotion out of the Third Division in 1976–77, following this success he moved on to Cambridge United. With United he won promotion out of the third tier for a second successive season, before moving on to Sparta Rotterdam in the Netherlands. In 1979, he transferred to FC Groningen, helping them to the Eerste Divisie title in 1979–80. He then returned to his native Gorleston, who he later managed.

Between 1972 and 1978 he won eighteen caps for Northern Ireland, and scored three goals at international level. These goals came against Spain, Cyprus, and Norway.

After his retirement he worked behind the scenes at various Football League clubs.

Contents

  • 1 Club career
  • 2 International career
  • 3 Post-retirement
  • 4 Statistics
  • 5 Honours
  • 6 References

Club career

Morgan was born in East Belfast and attended Nettlefield Primary School alongside George Best. When he was 11 years old, his family settled in Gorleston, in England. He studied at the Nottingham Trent University to become a maths and physical education teacher.

Morgan entered the Football League at the relatively older age of 23, having played for local club Gorleston in the Eastern Counties League before signing for Fourth Division Port Vale in January 1970, after impressing on trial. The late bloomer made his professional debut as a substitute on 30 March 1970, scoring in a 1–1 draw at Newport County. After quitting teaching to take up professional football, he had to wait until the following season to make his full debut, appearing as the No. 10 on 15 August 1970, finding the net in a 2–0 win at Swansea City. The club won promotion to the Third Division at the end of the campaign, and he found himself to be a regular starter in the first team, and picked up six goals in forty games in the 1970–71 season.

He nearly left the club at the start of the 1971–72 campaign after falling out with manager Gordon Lee over his decision to remain resident in Great Yarmouth, rather than move closer to Vale Park. However the pair settled their dispute, and Morgan went on to score nine goals in 41 games, picking pup the club's Player of the Year award. He went on to become the joint-top scorer in the 1972–73 season with eleven goals in 44 games (tied with strike partner Ray Williams). Aston Villa purchased Morgan for £22,222 in August 1973 (£5,400 also changed hands due to goalscoring bonuses).

He scored four goals in twelve games during Villa's 1974–75 Second Division promotion campaign, though his season was hampered by a back injury which kept him out of the 1975 League Cup Final. He played just the three games in the First Division before being sold to Brighton & Hove Albion for £10,000 in December 1975.

Seven goals in eighteen games from Morgan helped him return to the Second Division as a Third Division runner-up. His time at the Goldstone Ground was also ravaged with injury and in August 1977 he dropped back into the third tier, signing with Cambridge United for £15,000. He chose Cambridge over a return to Port Vale, then managed by Roy Sproson.

That season saw the club achieve promotion as runners-up, but Morgan left United in August 1978 after a dispute with the club. Choosing to head to the Netherlands, rather than Norway, he signed with Sparta Rotterdam. He moved on to FC Groningen in 1979, where he achieved a fourth promotion as the club claimed the Eerste Divisie title. He returned to his old club Gorleston in 1980 and was appointed manager in 1982, staying in the post until 1985.

International career

Morgan won eighteen caps for his country between 1972 and 1978. He scored a goal on his debut in a 1–1 draw with Spain on 16 February 1972, after replacing Derek Dougan in the first eleven. He also scored against Cyprus on 8 May 1973 and Norway on 29 October 1975, both 3–0 home wins.

Post-retirement

When his playing days were over he became a teacher in Gorleston. He also became team manager, secretary and later chairman of Great Yarmouth Schools F.A.

He then became a schoolboy coach in the United States before returning to England to become a schoolboy coach at Norwich City youth team in 1990. In January 1998 he signed for Norwich full-time as the youth development officer and was able to become the club's first Director of their Football Academy, as he holds a UEFA Class A licence.

He resigned his Norwich post in 2004 and moved to East Anglian neighbours Ipswich Town as education officer. In February 2009 he became Academy Manager.

Statistics

  • Sourced from Sammy Morgan profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)

Honours

Individual
  • Port Vale F.C. Player of the Year: 1972
with Port Vale
  • Football League Fourth Division promotion winner: 1969–70
with Aston Villa
  • Football League Second Division runner-up: 1974–75
with Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Football League Third Division runner-up: 1976–77
with Cambridge United
  • Football League Third Division runner-up: 1977–78
with Groningen
  • Eerste Divisie champion: 1979–80

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