Samuel English (18 August 1908 – April 1967) was an Irish football player who played for several clubs, but is mainly remembered for his time with Rangers.
He was born in the hamlet of Crevolea in Aghadowey, Northern Ireland. In 1924 his family moved to Dalmuir in Scotland, and for a time he worked at the John Brown & Company Shipyard.
During the 1930s he played with Yoker Athletic Juniors and with Rangers. He holds the Rangers record for the most league goals scored in one season: 44 goals from 35 appearances in 1931-32. He was also capped twice for Ireland in 1932, although he ended up on the losing side on both occasions (0-4 v Scotland and 1-4 v Wales).
His career was overshadowed by an incident in September 1931 where he was involved in a collision with John Thomson, the Celtic goalkeeper. Thomson dived for the ball and his head collided with English’s knee (not his boot, as sometimes claimed). Thomson suffered serious injuries to his skull and died in hospital a few hours later. The official enquiry 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 incident, jeering by Scottish crowds caused his transfer to England. He played for Liverpool, then for George McLachlan at Queen of the South, and then 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 Leven Hospital, in West Dunbartonshire, at the age of only 58 after battling motor neurone disease.