Jon Sammels

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Jon Sammels
Jon Sammels (1967).png
Jon Sammels, November 1967
Personal information
Full name Jonathon Charles Sammels
Date of birth (1945-07-23) 23 July 1945 (age 73)
Place of birth Ipswich, Suffolk, England
Playing position Central midfielder
Youth career
1961–1963 Arsenal
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1962–1971 Arsenal 215 (39)
1971–1978 Leicester City 241 (21)
1978–1979 Vancouver Whitecaps 54 (7)
1979Nuneaton Borough (loan) 2 (0)
1979–1982 Nuneaton Borough 64 (8)
National team
1962–1963 England youth 7
1966–1968 England U23 9 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Jonathon Charles "Jon" Sammels (born 23 July 1945) is an English former footballer.

Sammels joined Arsenal, in 1961, the club he supported as a boy, from his family home in Grundisburgh near Woodbridge in Suffolk. He was a regular in the reserves and a successful youth international winning seven caps for England. He joined Arsenal soon after fellow East Anglian Peter Simpson and played alongside him for several seasons. Jon scored on his first-team debut for Arsenal on 27 April 1963, against Blackpool. However, he only played sparingly — twice in 1963–64 and not at all in 1964–65 — and did not secure a place in the side until the departure of Geoff Strong, and later George Eastham.

Noted for his accurate passing and strong shooting, he broke through in 1965–66 and was an ever-present in the 1966–67 season. As well as being a regular for Arsenal, Sammels played for the England U23 team nine times. He played in both of Arsenal's League Cup final defeats in 1968 and 1969, before finally claiming a medal in the 1969–70 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup; he scored Arsenal's winning goal in their 4–3 victory on aggregate over RSC Anderlecht, after Arsenal had trailed 3–1 after the first leg.

However, Sammels lost his first team place in the 1970–71 season, thanks to an ankle injury and the emergence of George Graham; although he played enough games to win a First Division winner's medal, he did not take part in Arsenal's' FA Cup Final win over Liverpool that completed their Double-winning season. Sammels submitted a transfer request, and he was duly sold to Leicester City for £100,000. In all he played 270 matches for Arsenal, scoring 52 goals.

Sammels was a regular in the Leicester side for the next seven seasons, playing 265 matches for the Foxes, scoring 25 goals. Under Jimmy Bloomfield, Leicester were a talented and exciting side, but the only trophy they won was the 1971 Charity Shield, and they never finished above seventh in the League. Sammels left Leicester on a free transfer in 1978, and played for the Vancouver Whitecaps in the NASL for two seasons. He was a member of the Whitecaps team that won the league championship in 1979. After that, he retired from the game and returned to the UK. He now works as a driving instructor in Leicester.

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