Sam Gillam

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Sam Gillam
Personal information
Full name Samuel Gladstone Gillam
Date of birth 1868
Place of birth Swindon, England
Date of death (1938-10-13)13 October 1938
Place of death Chard, England
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1884–1886 Wrexham Lever
1886–1888 Wrexham Olympic
1888 Bolton Wanderers[1] 2 (0)
1888–1889 Wrexham
1889–1890 Shrewsbury Town
1890 Chirk
1890–1893 London Welsh
1893–189? Clapton
189?–189? Brighton Athletic
1898–1904 West Hampstead
National team
1889–1894 Wales 5 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Samuel Gladstone "Sam" Gillam (1868 – 13 October 1938) was a Wales international football goalkeeper, who played for various clubs in England and Wales in the 1880s and 1890s, including a brief career in the Football League with Bolton Wanderers. He was the first player to come on as a substitute in international football.

Football career

Gillam was born in Swindon, Wiltshire but started his football career in Wrexham in north Wales when he joined Wrexham Lever as a teenager. After two years, he moved to the Wrexham Olympic for two years, before another, temporary move to England.[2]

For the start of the inaugural Football League season, Gillam had agreed to join Everton but he "failed to turn up at the last minute" for Everton's first pre-season friendly.[3] He subsequently joined Bolton Wanderers for whom he only made two appearances; ironically, his debut for Bolton came at Everton on 5 November when he stood in for Wanderers regular keeper Charlie Harrison. The match report in The Liverpool Mercury said "The visitors brought a strong eleven including Gillan (sic) who was to have kept goal for the home club this season."[4] Another match report said that Gillam "defended his charge in marvellous fashion, accounting for shot after shot in a style that brought forth hearty cheers";[2] despite his efforts, Everton won the match 2–1. His only other Football League appearance came in a 5–2 defeat at home to Preston North End,[2] who were to go through the season undefeated.

By the end of the year, he had returned to Wrexham. On 15 April 1889, Wales were playing their British Home Championship match against Scotland at the Racecourse Ground. Wrexham; the regular goalkeeper, Jim Trainer, failed to turn up for the match, as Preston North End refused to release him.[2] The kick-off was delayed while a replacement was sought; eventually the match got underway with local amateur player Alf Pugh in goal, before Gillam arrived some twenty minutes into the match to take over.[5] Neither 'keeper conceded a goal and the match ended 0–0;[6] this was the first time in 14 matches between the countries that the Scots had failed to defeat the Welsh,[7] and only the second international match in which neither team had managed to score, the first being the very first officially recognised international match, between Scotland and England on 30 November 1872.[8] This was also the first use of a substitute in international football.[9]

Gillam retained his place as the Welsh international 'keeper for the next three matches (two victories against Ireland and a defeat against England), before Trainer was recalled.[10]

His connection with the Wrexham club ended in October 1889, after which he had brief spells with Shrewsbury Town and Chirk. In 1890, he moved to London and joined London Welsh for three years, becoming team captain.[2] In 1893, he joined Clapton where he made his final international appearance, when he was called into the team as a replacement for the unavailable Trainer, in a 5–2 defeat against Scotland.[11][12]

He later briefly moved to the Brighton Athletic club, before joining West Hampstead. Although his business commitments restricted his football appearances, he remained on West Hampstead's books until 1904.[2]

International appearances

Gillam made five appearances for Wales as follows:[13]

Date Venue Opponent Result[14] Goals Competition
15 April 1889 Racecourse Ground, Wrexham  Scotland 0–0 0 British Home Championship
27 April 1889 Ulster Cricket Ground, Belfast  Ireland 3–1 0 British Home Championship
8 February 1890 Old Racecourse, Shrewsbury  Ireland 5–2 0 British Home Championship
15 March 1890 Racecourse Ground, Wrexham  England 1–3 0 British Home Championship
24 March 1894 Rugby Park, Kilmarnock  Scotland 2–5 0 British Home Championship
Win Draw Loss

Career after football

Gillam became a hotelier in Cullompton in Devon and later took charge of the Crown Hotel in Fore Street, Chard, Somerset, where he died in October 1938.[2]


  1. ^ Joyce, Michael (2004). Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939. Nottingham: Tony Brown. p. 100. ISBN 1-899468-67-6.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Davies, Gareth; Garland, Ian (1991). Who's Who of Welsh International Soccer Players. Bridge Books. pp. 67–68. ISBN 1-872424-11-2.
  3. ^ "Everton 4 Padiham 1". Start of Season. Everton Independent Research Data. 3 September 1888. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  4. ^ "Everton 2 Bolton Wanderers 1". Everton Independent Research Data. 5 November 1888. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  5. ^ "Scotland v. Wales (Match report)". 15 April 1889. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  6. ^ "Wales 0 – 0 Scotland". Welsh Football Data Archive. 15 April 1889. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  7. ^ "Scotland vs. Wales international results". Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  8. ^ At this time, the only countries involved in international football were the British "home" nations; i.e. England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. For a list of England's match results, see the England all-time match list, for the Scotland equivalent see the list of Scotland results and for Wales see the index of Wales international matches
  9. ^ "Wales 0 Scotland 0". 15 April 1889. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  10. ^ Samuel, Bill (2009). The Complete Wales FC 1876–2008. Soccer Books. p. 10. ISBN 1-86223-176-1.
  11. ^ "Scotland 5 – 2 Wales". Welsh Football Data Archive. 24 March 1894. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  12. ^ "Scotland v. Wales (Match report)". 24 March 1894. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  13. ^ Samuel, Bill (2009). The Complete Wales FC 1876–2008. Soccer Books. pp. 10–12. ISBN 1-86223-176-1.
  14. ^ Wales score first

External links

  • International career summary
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