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Sam Torrans

Name: Samuel Torrans
Born: 27 October 1869, Belfast
Died: 8 May 1948
Position: Forward/Left-Half/Left-Back

Representative Honours: Ireland: 26 Full Caps (1889-1901); Irish League: 8 Caps (1895-1901).
Club Honours: (with Linfield) Irish League Champion 1890/91, 1891/92, 1892/93, 1894/95, 1897/98, 1901/02; Irish Cup Winner 1890/91, 1891/92, 1892/93, 1894/95, 1897/98, 1898/99, 1901/02; City Cup Winner; Belfast Charity Cup Winner; Co. Antrim Shield Winner.

Club Career
FA Cup

Undoubtedly the star of the famous Torrans clan, Sam was the only one of the four brothers to play in each of Linfield’s first six Irish League titles and first seven Irish Cup wins. A founding member of th club, he was originally a free-scoring forward, scoring 18 times in Linfield’s first title winning season, including five in a 14-0 win over Oldpark. He ended the 1890/91 season with another strike in a 4-2 Irish Cup win over Ulster. He scored another Irish Cup final goal a year later as the Black Watch Regiment were defeated 7-0 (Rab also scored) and although he failed to find the net in the 1893 5-1 final win over Cliftonville, another brother, Tom, did.

By 1893 however, Torrans had begun to feature more often at left-back and it was in that position he played in further Irish Cup wins in 1895, 1898, 1899 and 1902. In his seventeen year Blues career Torrans also claimed City Cup, Charity Cup and Co. Antrim Shield winner’s medals, many as captain. Despite playing the latter portion of his career as a back, Torrans’ thirty goals in the Irish Cup competition has been bettered by just seven others.

Torrans was a mainstay for Ireland for twelve years, claiming a total of 26 caps. He featured at outside-right, inside, left, outside-left, left-half and left-back, but despite his admirable goalscoring return at club level, never scored on the international stage, in the opponents net at any rate. His best opportunity came against England in March 1892, with the game scoreless after 75 minutes, as Ireland were awarded the first penalty in international football – Torrans’ effort was saved by English ‘keeper William Rowley, who then recovered to save the follow up from William Dalton. Further ignominy to his international career came in the form of the unwanted record of most own goals scored in the International Championship – three in all. Torrans also captained Ireland on two occasions during the 1894 Championship.

Although only two of the four Torrans brothers won Ireland caps (Sam and Rab) a third, Jim, did make the field at international level as a referee. A mechanic/fitter by trade, Torrans was widowed at a young age before remarrying and having several children.

Ireland Cap Details:
09-03-1889 Scotland A L 0- 7 BC
08-02-1890 Wales... A L 2- 5 BC
29-03-1890 Scotland H L 1- 4 BC
07-02-1891 Wales... H W 7- 2 BC
28-03-1891 Scotland A L 1- 2 BC
27-02-1892 Wales... A D 1- 1 BC
05-03-1892 England. H L 0- 2 BC
18-03-1892 Scotland H L 2- 3 BC
25-02-1893 England. A L 1- 6 BC
25-03-1893 Scotland A L 1- 6 BC
24-02-1894 Wales... A L 1- 4 BC
03-03-1894 England. H D 2- 2 BC
31-03-1894 Scotland H L 1- 2 BC
09-03-1895 England. A L 0- 9 BC
29-02-1896 Wales... A L 1- 6 BC
07-03-1896 England. H L 0- 2 BC
28-03-1896 Scotland H D 3- 3 BC
20-02-1897 England. A L 0- 6 BC
06-03-1897 Wales... H W 4- 3 BC
27-03-1897 Scotland A L 1- 5 BC
05-03-1898 England. H L 2- 3 BC
26-03-1898 Scotland H L 0- 3 BC
18-02-1899 England. A L 2-13 BC
04-03-1899 Wales... H W 1- 0 BC
23-02-1901 Scotland A L 0-11 BC
23-03-1901 Wales... H L 0- 1 BC

Summary: 26/0. Won 3, Drew 3, Lost 20.


1901 Census living with brother Robert:
Unknown said…
In 1900 Ireland's Saturday Night conducted a poll of its readers to discover the most popular Irish footballer. There were nearly 40,000 votes cast with Sam gaining the most.