Meston Sammy Image 1 Southampton 1896

Meston Sammy Image 1 Southampton 1896


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Arbroath, Angus born wing half Sammy Meston was initially an inside forward and started his football career with junior club Arbroath Victoria in 1891, joining hometown professional club Arbroath in 1892. He then moved south to join First Division Stoke in January 1894, making his Football League debut against Newton Heath (Manchester United) at the end of March 1894, his only appearance of the season. The following season Meston scored 4 times in 12 further appearances before moving to Southern League Southampton St Mary’s in the 1895 close season together with several other Stoke players.

He played in a variety of positions, although his favourite position was at right-half. He soon proved to be one of the most valuable players signed for The Saints in their Southern League days. His trademark hard shots were nicknamed Long Toms after a cannon used during the Boer War and elsewhere. Whilst at Southampton, he played in their losing FA Cup semi-final of 1898  when they lost 0-2 to Nottingham Forest at The Crystal Palace on 23rd March 1898 after a 1-1 draw at Bramall Lane 4 days earlier. He also won a record six Southern League Championship medals between 1897 and 1904 (a record) and appeared in the FA Cup Finals of 1900, defeating three First division clubs on the way, and 1902, although they lost both of these Finals to Bury and Sheffield United respectively, the latter in a replay. He made a total of 288 appearances for The Saints, including 42 in the FA Cup (a total only exceeded by Terry Paine and Nick Holmes), and scored 20 times for them.

After 11 seasons with Southampton, he left in May 1906 to join non league Salisbury City and spent a season with them before signing for Southern League Croydon Common in the 1907 close season and playing in their first competitive match as a professional club. He scored once in 20 appearances for Croydon during his two seasons there, before he returned to Salisbury City, finishing his career with spells at Chandlers Ford in 1911 and Eastleigh Athletic in 1913.

His son, also called Sammy Meston, played for Southampton, Gillingham, Everton and Tranmere Rovers in the 1920’s and 1930’s.


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