Clemie Sam Image 1 Kilmarnock 1929

Clemie Sam Image 1 Kilmarnock 1929


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Cronberry, Ayrshire born goalkeeper Sam Clemie began his football career with Ayrshire junior club Lugar Boswell Thistle from where he joined local professional club Kilmarnock and made his Scottish League debut against Hamilton Academical in January 1926. Clemie made 8 further appearances before the end of his debut season and became Killie’s regular keeper in 1926-27 season.

Clemie will always have a place in Kilmarnock’s folklore based on the events of Kilmarnock’s 1929 Scottish Cup run and in particular the events in the Final. On the way to the 1929 Scottish Cup final, Kilmarnock had beaten Glasgow University, Bo’Ness, Albion Rovers, Raith Rovers and then Glasgow Celtic 1-0 in the semi final in front of 40,000. They met Glasgow Rangers in the Final at Hampden Park, Rangers were the clear favourites. Having just won the Scottish League title, and having lost just one of their previous 43 League and Cup matches, Rangers were expecting to seal a “double double” in front of the 115,000 strong crowd.

After 16 minutes the referee awarded Rangers a penalty and although Tully Craig struck it well, Sam Clemie leapt to save it at his top left corner. Two goals from in the second half from Aitken and Cunningham secured the Cup for Kilmarnock with a 2-0 victory. As well as being the first ever penalty save in a Cup Final, there was also the first ever red card in a Scottish Cup Final as Buchanan of Rangers was sent off for un-gentlemanly conduct, as Rangers’ frustration boiled over and he swore at the referee in the dying minutes of the match. It is reported that when the victorious team returned to Kilmarnock the crowd shouted down the Provost who was greeting them and demanded to hear from Sam Clemie. “I can save penalty kicks but I canae mak’ a speech”. To rapturous applause he sat down again.

With the Cup winning team he toured eastern parts of Canada, New York, Ohio and Massachusetts playing 17 matches against local teams in May and June 1930.

An ever present in the 1930-31 campaign, after seven seasons at Rugby Park Clemie lost his place to Willie Bell in October 1931 and played just once more at Cowdenbeath in April 1932 to reach exactly 200 appearances for Kilmarnock, Clemie moved on to East Stirlingshire in the 1932 close season where he made just 5 League appearances before his senior footballing career came to an end.



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