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Obituary: Sam Hastings

Mon, 13th Apr 2020 10:03am

The following obituary to Sam Hastings, who sadly passed away recently, would normally be published in the club’s matchday programme, The Clyde View. However, with no matches currently scheduled, it is reproduced below. Sam is pictured on the homepage at Broadwood in the early 2000s, after being presented with a Clyde shirt by then chairman, Billy Carmichael.

Sam, who hadn’t long had his 80th birthday, joined Hamilton Accies from Nithsdale Wanderers in 1957, and was an integral part of that team until he was persuaded to come to Shawfield for the start of the 1964/65 season.

He made a scoring debut his Clyde in August 1964, as we drew 1-1 with Arbroath at Shawfield, and played his last game for the Bully Wee against Kilmarnock on the 11th of March 1972, this time it was a defeat in the league by a 0-3 scoreline.

In between those dates, Sam made the Number 11, the old outside left position, virtually his own, playing 290 games in total and contributing 59 goals, enough to see Sam just get in to Clyde’s Top 20 all-time scorers – a significant contribution from a winger!

Alan Maxwell, writing the pen-pics for the book 'Unsung Heroes', described Sam thus…

"Another fantastic signing from the lower leagues, this time Hamilton Accies, back in 1964. A natural left-winger who hugs the touchline, stocky and very hard to force off the ball. Versatile, he often pops up in the middle of the penalty area, to snatch an all-important goal. Sam is a manager’s dream, very rarely missing a game."

Unfortunately we couldn’t track Sam down when the 66/67 squad was inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame in 2014, however Sam had his place in the Hall of Fame, and you can read more of his contribution both in the “Hall of Fame” section on the website and in the book 'Unsung Heroes'. 

A player who was at Clyde for a fair percentage of the time Sam was at Shawfield, Dick Staite, said of Sam and his part in that magnificent season…

"To say that Sam was a left winger is to underestimate the contribution that he made to the successful ’67 team. He was, in fact, so very far ahead of his time.

"Speedy and tricky and direct, yes, in the mould of the traditional wingman, he was consistently a nightmare to play against for any opposing full-back. As such, he was an important part of our attack, creating opportunities for others to score from his crosses or sorties into the box. 

"But he was so much more than that.

"He was in many ways the wing-back of the present day: unselfish in covering back; resolute, with huge reserves of stamina allowing him to chase and harry and carry as he did; giving others the out ball - and the breather. And, as any over-charged, rumbustious opposing defender would find out, he very much knew how to take care of himself.

"That combination: the creative forward allied to a football brain which identifies the need to work in other areas for the team, is what he gave us. His role was absolutely integral to the success of that team. No wonder that he was one of the automatic first names on the team sheet.

"His style of play characterised the man and he was the same guy on and off the pitch. In the dressing room he integrated easily with the whole squad, ready for and contributing to the banter; and always the man who knew how to take care of himself."

The club's thoughts and condolences are with Sam’s family and friends at this sad time.

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