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A-Z of West Midlands Football

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: June 23, 2014

  • J-Lloyd Samuel

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MARK SALE is one of the tallest players ever to appear in a first-class game for Birmingham City. The 6ft 5in striker was at St Andrew's from March 1992 until March 1993 during which time he scored three goals in 27 appearances.

Born in Rugeley, Staffs in February 1972, Mark played for Stoke City, Cambridge United, Stafford Rangers (as a trialist) and Rocester before teaming up with Blues. On leaving after just 12 months, he signed for Torquay United and later assisted Preston North End, Mansfield Town, Colchester United, Plymouth Argyle (on loan), Rushden & Diamonds, Doncaster Rovers, Tamworth, Hucknall Town, Alfreton Town, Northwich Victoria and Hednesford Town, retiring in May 2008 with 57 goals in 321 League appearances (at various levels) to his name.

In season 2008-09 Mark was youth team manager of Burton Albion and now works as a football developer for the East Staffordshire Borough Council

MOUSTAPHA SALIFOU was born in Lome, Togo in June 1983 and played for AC Merian, Rot-Weiss Oberhausen (Germany), Stade Brestouis (on loan) and FC Wil before joining Aston Villa in 2007.

He made only four Premiership appearances over the next four seasons before moving to FC Saarbrucken. Now a free agent (as of 2014) Moustapha has so far netted six goals in 59 full internationals for Togo.

JACK SAMBROOK scored seven goals in 21 first team appearances for Wolves between August 1919 and May 1922.

A useful centre-forward, he was born in Wednesfield in March 1899 and played his early football with Willenhall Town before moving to Molineux. On leaving Wolves he signed for Liverpool and later assisted Stockport County, Willenhall Swifts and C & L Hills FC, retiring in 1937. Jack died in Heathtown Wolverhampton in December 1973.

SAMPDORIA played Birmingham City twice in the Anglo-Italian Cup tournament in June 1971. After losing 2-1 away in front of 15,000 fans in Italy, Blues won the return fixture 2-0 before a crowd of 19,510. Unfortunately Blues didn't make it through from the English group.

J-LLOYD SAMUEL was a left-back, strong-kicking with good skill and commitment.

He was born in Trinidad and Tobago in 1981 but brought up in the Black Country, attending St Joseph's Academy, in Blackheath.

He was a youth team player with West Ham United and Charlton Athletic before joining Aston Villa in April 1998. He went on to appear in 199 first-class games over the next nine years while also assisting Gillingham on loan.

In the summer of 2007, J-Lloyd moved to Bolton Wanderers and following a loan spell with Cardiff City, he moved, in 2011, to the Iranian club Esteghial with whom he has won League and cup honours. Capped seven times by England at U21 level, he went on to play in two full internationals for his home country, Trinidad & Tobago, and at the end of the 2013-14 season his career record stood at 364 club appearances and 14 goals.

JIMMY SANDERS kept goal for West Bromwich Albion in 391 first-class matches between November 1945 and June 1958.

A Londoner, born in Hackney in July 1920, Jimmy played his early football (in World War Two) with Charlton Athletic and during the hostilities was a guest for Fulham, Chelsea, Liverpool, Southampton, West Ham and the Baggies before moving to The Hawthorns on a permanent basis for £2,250.

An FA Cup winner and Second Division runner-up with Albion, Jimmy was superb at saving penalties and during his career saved more than 25, nine in the 1948-49 season when the Baggies gained promotion to the top flight.

After 13 years with Albion Jimmy – who when out in public always wore a dicky-bow and had his Cup winner's medal on a chain round his neck – moved to Coventry City, eventually retiring in June 1960 after a brief spell with Hinckley Athletic.

He subsequently became a licensee and ran a hotel in Solihull before being confined to a wheelchair.

Jimmy was 83 when he died in Tamworth in August 2003. Top man, he was a pilot during the War and flew on 120 various operations. He was shot down by a German war plane on one trip and as a result was invalided out of the RAF.

TEDDY SANDFORD was only 21 when he helped Albion compete the 'unique double' of winning the FA Cup and gaining promotion from the Second Division in the 1930-31 season.

Born in Handsworth, Birmingham in October 1910, he played for Tantany Athletic (West Bromwich), Overend Wesley, the Birmingham Carriage Works team and Smethwick Highfield before joining the Baggies in October 1929. Initially an inside-forward, he went on to score 75 goals in 371 competitive games for Albion, up to March 1939, when he moved to Sheffield United.

Capped once by England against Wales at Wrexham in 1932, Teddy was a solid footballer with powerful right-foot shot.

He was later switched to centre-half by Albion whom he captained when a record crowd of almost 65,000 packed into The Hawthorns to watch a 6th round FA Cup-tie against Arsenal in March 1937.

After retiring Teddy returned to The Hawthorns as a coach and he later acted as a Midland-based scout for the club while running his café nearby on the Birmingham Road, just a stone's throw from the ground. Nephew of ex-Albion defender Abe Jones who played in the early 1900s, Teddy died in Great Barr, Birmingham, in May 1995 at the age of 84. His son is an avid Baggies' supporter.

JACK SANKEY was with Albion at the same time as Teddy Sandford. A wing-half, born in Moulton, Cheshire just before the Titanic sank in 1912, he joined the Baggies from Winsford United in the summer of 1930 and remained at the club until October 1945 when he moved to Northampton Town for £500, having made 290 appearances and scored 27 goals for Albion.

He also was a guest player with Walsall during the War and was a player with Hereford United for six years (1947-53) before retiring to take over as assistant-manager at Edgar Street.

He then returned to The Hawthorns as a coach in 1955, and remained in that job for nine years. Thereafter Jack worked in a cycle factory in Handsworth where he died in January 1985, aged 72.

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