Sammy Nelson

Sammy Nelson

Football Biography
Football Biography Less

Sammy Nelson

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Samuel "Sammy" Nelson (born April 1, 1949 in Belfast, Northern Ireland) is a Northern Ireland former football player, who joined London club Arsenal on his 17th birthday in 1966.

Originally a left-winger, Nelson was later moved back into defence to become a left back. He was a regular in Arsenal's reserve side for several seasons, before making his first-team debut against Ipswich Town on October 25, 1969. However, he was understudy to the Gunners' established left back, Bob McNab, and it wasn't until McNab was injured in the 1971–72 season did he become a regular in the side. Even then, whenever McNab returned from injury, Nelson was forced to step down to being reserve.

In the meantime, Nelson had made his debut for Northern Ireland, as a sub against England on April 21, 1970. Nelson went on to win 51 international caps, including two of Northern Ireland's matches in the 1982 FIFA World Cup. FIFA. Retrieved 4 February 2010.

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 (1978, 1979 and 1980 – but only winning the middle of the three) as well the Gunners' 1980 Cup Winners' Cup loss on penalties to Valencia.

An aggressive, hard-tackling full back, Nelson was a crowd favourite and known...
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