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Players Index Page Last Updated
2 January 2023

Sam Cowan

Manchester City FC

3 appearances, 0 goals

P 3 W 2 D 1 L 0 F 9: A 4
83% successful


captain: none
minutes played:

  Samuel Cowan
Birth 10 May 1901 in Staveley, Chesterfield, Derbyshire [registered in Chesterfield, June 1901]

According to the 1901 census, Selina Cowan (née Wallace) is pregnant with a child who will become Samuel. His father, Thomas, is a hewer in the coal mines. They live at 25 Hartington Cottages in Staveley, Chesterfield.


According to the 1911 census, Staveley-born Samuel is the fifth of nine children to their parents. They live at 25 Ridge Balk Lane, in Woodlands, Doncaster. His father is a hewer.

  According to the 1921 census, Samuel, an underground roadworker at the local colliery, is the second oldest of six children still living at home with their parents at 23 John Street in Adwick-le-Street.
Marriage to Hazel Noble, on 10 July 1930 at St. Margaret's Church in Swinton [registered in Rotherham, September 1930]. Service conducted by Rev. T.G. Rogers. They had one son, David Anthony (b.20 October 1937)
"The bride was wearing an ankle-length gown of lace georgette with wreath and veil, and carried a shower bouquet of carnations. She was attended by Miss Rachel Cowan, sister of the bridegroom, and Miss Rosie Marriott, cousin of the bride, who wore dresses of lemon and blue georgette." - Leeds Mercury, 10 July 1930
  According to the 1939 register, Samuel is a Brighton & Hove Albion trainer, married to Hazel, and living at 2 Sunninghill Avenue in the Hangleton area of Hove.
Death 4 October 1964 at Hanbury Park, Haywards Heath, aged 63 years 147 days [registered in Cuckfield, Sussex, December 1964]. Living at 2 Sunninghill Avenue, Hove.
"Sam Cowan, aged 62, who was famous as Manchester City's centre-half before the war, and was capped for England, collapsed while refereeing a Show Biz football match at Haywards Heath, Sussex, last night and died. The game was in aid of the benefit fund of Jim Parks, England and Sussex wicketkeeper. In the Show Biz side were Tommy Steele and Ronnie Carroll. Cowan refereed the first half but left the field shortly after half-time, complaining of a pain in the chest. He died in the dressing room. The match, which ended in a win for the Show Biz side by 6-3, raised more than £170 for Jim Parks's benefit." - The Birmingham Post, Monday, 5 October 1964.
Funeral Friday 12.30pm, 9 October 1964 at St. Peter's Church, West Blatchington in Hove
Probate "COWAN Samuel of 2 Sunninghill Avenue, Hove Sussex died 4 October 1964 at Hanbury Park Football Stadium Haywards Heath Sussex Probate Lewes 27 September to Hazel Cowan widow £5952."


Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990] &

Playing Career

Club(s) Started his junior career playing with Adwick-Le-Street Park FC and Adwick FC Juniors. As he worked at the local colliery, he played for and worked for, Bullcroft Colliery and also turned out for Denaby United FC. His professional career began with Doncaster Rovers FC in Agust 1923, where he scored thirteen goals in 48 league appearances. Cowan moved to Manchester City FC on 17 December 1924, where he became the club captain. After 369 league appearances and nineteen goals, he transferred to Bradford City FC on 17 October 1935 for a £2000 transfer fee and made 57 league appearances, scoring once. Joined Mossley FC in July 1937.
Club honours FA Cup runners-up 1925-26, 1932-33, winners 1933-34; Football League Division Two winners 1927-28; FA Charity Shield runners-up 1934, winners 1937;
Individual honours Football League (one appearance)
Distinctions One of only handful of players who have a road named after him. Sam Cowan Close is in Moss Side, Manchester. The estate includes Fred Tilson Close, Sammy Cookson Close, Tommy Johnson Walk and Horace Barnes Close.
Height/Weight 5' 10½", 13st. 0lbs [1926]. 5' 10" [1928], 5' 11", 13st. 2lbs [1929]


Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990].

Management Career

Club(s) Appointed the coach at Brighton & Hove Albion FC in June 1938. Spent most of the 1946-47 season as manager back at Manchester City FC. Despite being appointed on 18 November 1946, he resigned on 25 June 1947 because of a dispute on policy. After he left City, Cowan was interviewed by Brentford AFC to become their new trainer/coach. He had also had offers from two more league side, and one club in Spain. Became coach at Hamsey FC in August 1947. Appointed coach at Worthing FC on 5 July 1948 for the upcoming season.
Club honours Football League Division Two winners 1946-47;

England Career

Player number One of six who became 504th players (506) to appear for England.
Position(s) Centre-half, left-half
First match No. 150, 24 May 1926, Belgium 3 England 5, an end-of-season tour match at Olympisch Stadion, Antwerpen, aged 25 years 14 days.
Last match No. 177, 16 May 1931, Belgium 1 England 4, an end-of-season tour match at Stade du Daring Club de Bruxelles, Sint-Jans Molenbeek, Bruxelles, aged 30 years 6 days.
Major tournaments None
Team honours None
Individual honours None
Distinctions Exactly 27 years after Cowen is laid to rest, Clem Mitchell is also buried in Hove

Beyond England

Had a physiotherapy practice at Brighton and was masseur to the Sussex CCC and several MCC touring sides. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.76.


Sam Cowan - Career Statistics
Squads Apps comp. apps Mins. Goals goals ave.min comp. goals Capt. Disc.
6 3 0 270 0 0 min 0 none none
minutes are an approximation, due to the fact that many matches rarely stick to exactly ninety minutes long, allowing time for injuries and errors.


Sam Cowan - Match Record - All Matches - By Type of Match
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
Away - Friendly 3 2 1 0 9 4 +5 1 1 3.00 1.333 83.3 +2
All 3 2 1 0 9 4 +5 1 1 3.00 1.333 83.3 +2

Sam Cowan - Match History

 Club: Manchester City F.C. - three full appearances (270 min)

F.A. International Selection Committee - three full appearances (270 min)x

Age 25
1 150 24 May 1926 - Belgium 3 England 5, Olympisch Stadion, Antwerpen tour AW Start ch
151 27 May 1926 - France vs. England, Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Paris - match postponed App squad member

Age 29
171 10 May 1930 - Germany 3 England 3, Deutsches Stadion, Berlin tour AD reserve
2 172 14 May 1930 - Austria 0 England 0, Hohe Warte Stadion, Wien AD Start lh

Age 30
176 14 May 1931 - France 5 England 2, Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Paris tour AL reserve
3 177 16 May 1931 - Belgium 1 England 4, Stade DC Bruxelles, Bruxelles AW Start ch