Left half Sam Weaver joined Hull City in April 1928 at the age of 19, his first professional club. He remained in the reserves for the remainder of the 1927/28 season but in the third game of the following season the youthful Weaver replaced veteran left half Stan Dixon in the first team. Over the rest of the season Weaver missed only three games in March 1929 and turned in a string of impressive performances, notably showing a fine range of creative passing and a remarkable long throw-in. He scored his first goal for the Tigers in a Yuletide 3-2 defeat at Southampton, and added three more goals by the end of the season. While Bill McCracken’s City side was slipping down the Second Division table, Weaver was attracting the attention of clubs in the top division (as was another future England international and City contemporary, Ronnie Starling).
City started the 1929/30 season brightly with four wins and a draw, Weaver started all five matches and scored in a September 2-0 win over Preston. Weaver missed the next five games, City lost 3 and drew 2. His influence over the side was evident and in November 1929 Newcastle United paid £2,500 for the signature of a player not yet 21 years of age.
Samuel Weaver was born in Pilsley, a rural North Derbyshire village that was home to a large colliery between 1866 and 1957. His father worked at the colliery and the teenage Sam did too while playing junior football for Pilsley Red Rose. In 1926 he joined Sutton Town, a nearby Midland League side. He showed enough form with Sutton to attract the attention of Hull City, who paid £50 for his signature in early April 1928.
Weaver spent seven seasons with Newcastle United, winning the FA Cup in 1932. He started over 200 league matches in that seven year spell and scored 43 league goals. His impressive form led to international recognition in 1932 and 1933. In August 1936 Weaver, now approaching his career peak, joined Chelsea for an oddly-precise fee of £4,166. In the three seasons prior to World War Two Weaver was practically ever-present for the Blues, starting 125 games and scoring four goals. In 1939 Weaver was living in the leafy suburbs of Ealing and was part of the Police Reserve, twice suffering burns in subsequent years while handling firearms. During the war he moved around in his police role before joining the Army in 1943. He played for his parent club Chelsea during the war as well as guesting for a large number of other clubs – Southampton, Fulham, Notts County, Derby County, Mansfield Town, West Ham United, Leeds United, Wrexham, Brighton & Hove Albion, Stockport County and Orient. In 1945 he turned down an offer to become player-manager at North Shields FC, instead joined Stockport County in December 1945. He made only 2 league starts for the Hatters when the Football League resumed in 1946/47 and retired in the 1947 close season.
Weaver then embarked on a lengthy career in football coaching. After being shortlisted for the manager’s job at Bangor City, Sam become a coach at Leeds United between 1947 and 1949, then served Millwall between 1949 and 1954. After a year working as a groundsman in South East London, he joined Mansfield Town in 1955 and remained at Field Mill until his retirement in 1971. He was the Stags first team manager between 1958 and 1960 before reverting back to a coaching role, with the manager’s job being handed to another ex-Tiger and England international, Raich Carter. Weaver later worked for Mansfield as physiotherapist, scout and administrator, then in November 1971 he was caretaker first team manager for a ten day period. As well as a talented footballer, Weaver was a useful cricketer. He played for Hull City Cricket Club during his spell with the Tigers, represented Somerset in two first class cricket matches in 1939, played as club professional for a Leeds club in the late 1940s and worked for Derbyshire County Cricket Club as a masseur during the 1950s. Weaver saw out his days living in Basford on the outskirts of Nottingham and died in April 1985.
Weaver won three senior caps for England, debuting in a 3-0 win over Scotland in April 1932 at Wembley, then later playing in a 1-0 win over Ireland (October 1932) and a 2-1 defeat at Hampden Park against Scotland (April 1933), lining up alongside Ronnie Starling and against another former City teammate Dally Duncan.
Date/Place of Birth: 8 February 1909, Pilsley
Hull City First Game: 1 September 1928, Wolverhampton Wanderers A (Division Two), 19 years, 206 days old
Hull City Final Game: 23 November 1929, Blackpool A (Division Two), 20 years, 288 days old
Sutton United (1926-1928), Hull City (1928-1929), Newcastle United (1929-1936), Chelsea (1936-1939), Stockport County (1945-1947)
Hull City Record
Career: 50 apps, 5 goalsSam Weaver