Sam Johnson (footballer, born 1992)

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Sam Johnson
Sam Johnson.png
Johnson warming up for Port Vale before the match against Northampton Town on 20 April 2013.
Personal information
Full name Samuel William Johnson[1]
Date of birth (1992-12-01) 1 December 1992 (age 21)
Place of birth Newcastle-under-Lyme, England[2]
Height 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)[2]
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Port Vale
Number 12
Youth career
Stoke City
2007–2011 Port Vale
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2011– Port Vale 20 (0)
2011 Stafford Rangers (loan) 11 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 00:00, 31 August 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Samuel William "Sam" Johnson (born 1 December 1992) is an English professional football goalkeeper who plays for League One side Port Vale.

He turned professional at Port Vale in April 2011, and played on loan at non-league Stafford Rangers later in the year, before making his debut for the "Valiants" in October 2012, and helping the club to secure promotion out of League Two in 2012–13.

Playing career[edit]

Born in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Johnson started his career in the youth ranks at local side Stoke City, before he was released by the "Potters" at age 14.[3] He quickly joined the city's other local league club – Port Vale, after youth team coach Mark Grew spotted his potential.[3] In 2010–11 he was handed a squad number after the club's number 1, Chris Martin, picked up a stomach bug.[3] Aged only 17, he still towered over the rest of the dressing room at six-foot six.[3] Johnson was not fazed by the prospect of a first team debut, Grew comparing him to Paul Musselwhite in his unflappable, rather laid-back personality.[3] In April 2011 he was offered a professional one year deal at the club.[4]

He spent September 2011 on loan at nearby Northern Premier League Premier Division side Stafford Rangers.[5] He made his debut in a 5–4 defeat by Hednesford Town at Keys Park on 29 August, though manager Greg Clowes refused to blame Johnson for the five goals conceded.[6] The loan was then extended into October.[7] He then went on to concede just nine goals in his next ten games, and he returned to Vale Park having played a total of thirteen games. He agreed a new one year deal with the club in May 2012.[8]

Chris Neal and Johnson are the club's only two professional goalkeepers in the 2012–13 campaign. After Neal picked up a groin strain, manager Micky Adams had little recourse but to hand Johnson his debut on 9 October, in a Football League Trophy clash with Walsall at the Bescot Stadium.[9] Before the match, Adams said "We think an awful lot of him in terms of his development, but he's a first-year professional and he'll either sink or swim."[10] Despite making "a string of important saves", he was unable to prevent the two "Saddlers" goals in a 2–2 draw; however in a remarkable turn of events he saved three penalties and then went on to score the winning penalty as the 22nd penalty taker of the penalty shoot-out.[11][12][13]

"We were having a laugh before the game saying I was going to score the winning penalty, but I never dreamed it would happen. I've never actually taken one before, so to score one on my debut, and for it to be the winner, is just incredible. I've never, ever felt so nervous before I stepped up to take it. I just picked my corner and hoped their keeper would go the other way. Luckily he did."

—Johnson speaking after making "a debut that dreams are made of".[14]

Vale secured promotion into League One at the end of the 2012–13 season, and though Johnson did not feature in any league games he was named as the club's young player of the season.[15] He signed a new two-year contract with the club in May 2013.[16]

Johnson made his debut in the Football League on 30 November 2013, again away at Walsall, and impressed again after keeping a clean sheet in a 2–0 victory; after the game Adams confirmed Johnson would keep goal in the absence of Chris Neal, who had injured his wrist in training.[17] He played seven league games before Neal recovered and was returned to the first team.[18] He returned to the first team after Neal picked up another injury on 22 March.[19]

Johnson started the 2014–15 season as the club's first choice goalkeeper.[20]

Style of play and personality[edit]

In October 2012, Port Vale manager Micky Adams said that "I wouldn't say he's a laid-back character, but he can look horizontal at times. But he's a nice lad and if my daughter brought him home I'd be delighted."[14]


Season Club Division League FA Cup League Cup Other[21] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2010–11[22] Port Vale League Two 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2011–12[23] 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2011–12 Stafford Rangers (loan) Northern Premier 11 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 13 0
2012–13[24] Port Vale League Two 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
2013–14[25] League One 15 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 16 0
2014–15[26] 5 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 6 0
Total 20 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 23 0
Career total 30 0 1 0 1 0 3 0 35 0


with Port Vale


  1. ^ "List of Temporary Transfers of Players under Written Contract Between 01/09/2011 and 30/09/2011" (PDF). The Football Association. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Sam Johnson eager to make his mark". The Sentinel. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Young 'keeper drafted in". 20 August 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  4. ^ Shaw, Steve (22 April 2011). "Port Vale: Ede tips young stars for bright future". The Sentinel. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Johnson Joins Stafford Rangers". 29 August 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "Football: Possible keeper boost for struggling Rangers". The Sentinel. 2 September 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "Duo go on Loan". 30 September 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "Four players put pen to paper on new deals". The Sentinel. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Johnson, Dave. "Micky announces his team over 24 hours before the Walsall match". Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  10. ^ "Port Vale at Walsall: Young keeper Sam Johnson to make first-team debut in trophy clash". The Sentinel. 9 October 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  11. ^ "Match report v Walsall". The Sentinel. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  12. ^ "'Nervous' Port Vale keeper Sam Johnson hits winning JPT penalty". BBC Sport. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  13. ^ "Keeper Sam Johnson won't be fazed by hero status, says assistant boss Mark Grew". The Sentinel. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "Debut boy Sam Johnson the hero in penalty shoot-out at Walsall". The Sentinel. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  15. ^ "Tom Pope wins player-of-the-year award". The Sentinel. 29 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  16. ^ Pearson, Guy (31 May 2013). "Birchall and Johnson sign but Rob Page linked with Sheffield United job". The Sentinel. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  17. ^ Baggaley, Mike (30 November 2013). "Adams set to stick with 'terrific' Johnson while Neal is out for at least a month.". The Sentinel. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  18. ^ Baggaley, Mike (24 March 2014). "Goalkeeper Chris Neal set to miss rest of season". The Sentinel. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  19. ^ Baggaley, Mike (24 March 2014). "Goalkeeper Chris Neal set to miss rest of season". The Sentinel. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Sam Johnson says he faces huge challenge from Chris Neal". The Sentinel. 11 August 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  21. ^ Includes other competitive competitions, including the Football League Trophy.
  22. ^ "Games played by Sam Johnson in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 
  23. ^ "Games played by Sam Johnson in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 
  24. ^ "Games played by Sam Johnson in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  25. ^ "Games played by Sam Johnson in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  26. ^ "Games played by Sam Johnson in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 

External links[edit]