Stanley Rangers ARLFC
Club Biographies
DAVID SAMPSON (1944-2021)

Sampson Family Feb 2006

Stanley Rangers ARLFC Clubmark Evening, February 2006. David Sampson, Dean Sampson, Malcolm Sampson, Joe Sampson and Mick Hammond.

Wakefield Trinity v Hunslet 1955

Wakefield Trinity v Hunslet September 1963. (9-4 win in Yorks Cup)
Back: Geoff Oakes, Jack Wilkinson, Bob Haigh, Eric Payne, David Sampson, Keith Holliday, Gerry Round
Front: Gert Coetzer, Don Vines, Derek Turner, Ian Brooke, Ken Hirst, Colin Greenwood
(Photo: courtesy of Wakefield Trinity Heritage)

David - Dave or Sammy - was a well known rugby league player and resident of Stanley who passed away on the 26th July, 2021. His autobiography “Fast Lane to Shangri-La” tells that his family’s mining background produced tough, competitive people and in fact the Sampsons had  three internationals at three different sports.

Born on the 6th August 1944, one of seven children, David’s chosen sport was rugby league and he joined Wakefield Trinity juniors where his brother Malcolm was already playing. David progressed to district, county and international honours whilst in the juniors, and his international cap came in May 1963 when he played for England against France as an 18 year old at the Belle Vue ground. England won this game 22-6.

He signed professional forms for Trinity in 1963 and made his first team debut replacing Neil Fox in a Yorkshire Cup game at Hunslet, where he lasted only moments before breaking his collar bone. He was out for ten weeks but returned in December when he scored his first try in the Boxing Day game against Leeds. He played twelve games that season, including three at stand off covering for an injured Harold Poynton, and scored five tries. The following season he played a total of twelve games for Trinity the following season but it was a difficult team to break into with the likes of Neil Fox, Willis Rushton and Tony Thomas in the squad. In the 1965-66 season an ankle injury saw him only play twice. He was transferred to Bramley in June 1966 along with three other Trinity players. His Trinity career saw him play 28 games and score ten tries in three seasons and he earned the Wakefield Trinity Heritage number of 685.

David played at Bramley for twelve years with a total of 281 games and scoring 33 tries, including appearing in the famous BBC TV Floodlit Final win over Widnes in 1973.

In 1978 he played 28 games for Castleford, finally retiring from professional rugby league playing in 1980. He then began coaching at Castleford and coached the first team in 1987-88, reaching the Yorkshire Cup Final. From 1989-1992 he coached Doncaster, then five months for Nottingham City, finally retiring in late 1992.

In his life in Stanley, David was the well-known publican first of the Ship Inn, the Travellers and then Sampsons for many years. He played and  coached at Stanley Rangers ARLFC well into his forties. He began his writing career in 2012 with “Fast Lane to Shangri-La”, part of a trilogy of rugby league autobiographies - “My Shangri-La” with his son Dean Sampson and “A darker side to Shangri-La” and other books.   A family man, David was the father of the rugby league footballer Dean Sampson, Jonathan and Rebecca and the younger brother of the rugby league footballer Malcolm Sampson, and uncle of the sprinter Denise Ramsden and rugby union and rugby league footballer Paul Sampson.

With grateful thanks to Wakefield Trinity Heritage for supplying the information and photo for this article

Masters League
Yorkshire Mens League

Stanley Sports and Social Club, home of Stanley Rangers ARLFC,
Lee Moor Road, Stanley,
West Yorkshire , WF3 4EP

İStanley Rangers 2022