Tortured: The Sam English Story

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Hardback, 320 pages

Tortured: The Sam English Story is the fascinating yet tragic tale of a footballer destined to become one of the greatest goalscorers in Scottish football history, but who by his own admission became ‘an embarrassing, grizzly peep show’. English was a veritable goal machine at Yoker Athletic in the late 1920s, netting nearly 300 in three seasons, and was soon being chased by a posse of big-name clubs. Legendary Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman offered him a blank cheque, but 22-year-old English chose Rangers. He hit 44 league goals in his debut season – still a record today – but tragedy struck early in the campaign. In the first Old Firm match of the season, Celtic keeper John Thomson lost his life after bravely diving at the feet of the entirely blameless English. In an instant, English became one half of a tragic accident and his life changed forever. He moved to Liverpool, but was haunted by the fatality and its accompanying demons. He was cast as a villain and made a pariah. His life would be defined by that one tragic incident.