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Sammy Nelson

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Full name  Samuel Nelson
Name  Sammy Nelson
Years  Team
Role  Footballer

1966–1981  Arsenal
Height  1.78 m
1981–1983  Brighton
Playing position  Defender
Sammy Nelson Sammy NELSON League appearances for The Gunners

Date of birth  (1949-04-01) 1 April 1949 (age 66)
Place of birth  Belfast, Northern Ireland

Charlie george and sammy nelson

Samuel Nelson (born 1 April 1949 in Belfast, Northern Ireland) is a Northern Ireland former footballer, who played for Arsenal, Brighton & Hove Albion and Northern Ireland throughout his career.


Sammy Nelson Sammy Nelson Northern Ireland Caps 197082 Northern

Sammy nelson pre carling cup final


Born in Belfast, Nelson attended the Royal Belfast Academical Institution a school better known for its Rugby feats. On his 17th birthday in 1966, Nelson joined Arsenal. Originally a left-winger, he later moved back into defence to become a left back. An aggressive, hard-tackling player, Nelson was a crowd favourite and known for his cheeky sense of humour. Nelson played in the FA Youth Cup of Final of 1966 which the Gooners won in two legs over Sunderland

Sammy Nelson Sammy Nelson

He was a regular in Arsenal's reserve side for several seasons, before making his first-team debut against Ipswich Town on 25 October 1969. He was understudy to the Gunners' established left wing, Bob McNab, and it wasn't until McNab was injured in the 1971–72 season did Nelson become a regular. Even then, whenever McNab returned from injury, Nelson was forced to step down to being reserve. He only played four league matches during Arsenal's 1970-71 Double-winning campaign, which was not sufficient to win a medal.

Sammy Nelson Famous Faces at La Manga Club La Manga Club Archive

McNab left Arsenal in the summer of 1975, and Nelson finally became Arsenal's first-choice left back. For the next five seasons he was a near ever-present in the Arsenal side, and he played in all three of the Gunners' successive FA Cup finals of 1978, 1979 and, in 1980. Nelson started the middle of the three, wherein Manchester United were beaten at Wembley by a 3-2 scoreline. As well as in Arsenal's Cup Winners' Cup Final of 1980 to Valencia which was lost on penalties.


With the arrival of England international Kenny Sansom at the club in 1980, Nelson once again found himself out of the first team and thus left Arsenal in 1981. He played 339 first-class matches for the Gunners in total, and scored 12 goals.

Brighton & Hove Albion

Sammy Nelson Sammy Nelson Alchetron The Free Social Encyclopedia

Shortly thereafter Sammy joined Brighton & Hove Albion. Nelson spent two seasons at Brighton; although unable to save the side from relegation in 1982–83, they did reach another Cup final that season, losing to Manchester United 4–0 in a replay, after a 2–2 draw in the final, but Nelson missed the game. He retired as a footballer that summer, and after spending a season as a coach at Brighton, he left the game completely and is currently a tour guide at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium as part of their "Legends Tour".

International career

In the meantime, Nelson had made his debut for Northern Ireland, as a sub against England on 21 April 1970. Nelson went on to win 51 international caps, two of which came in Northern Ireland's matches of the 1982 FIFA World Cup.

Personal life

After retirement, he went into the insurance industry. Nelson is married to wife Helen and they have a daughter named Emily and their two sons Peter and James. Emily is married to English cricketer Matt Prior, of whom have a son by the name of Jonathan.


  • FA Youth Cup - 1966
  • FA Cup - 1979
  • References

    Sammy Nelson Wikipedia