The story of a farmer’s boy from Chapel-en-le-Frith who lifted his beloved Derby County into the top echelon of English football has been told for the first time in his own words.
Sam’s Story is the newly-published autobiography of Sam Longson OBE, the renowned Derby County director, chairman and honorary president who presided over the most successful decade in the Derbyshire club’s history during the late 1960s and 70s.
Having a life-long association with the Rams until his death in 1989, Mr Longson was responsible for bringing Brian Clough, Peter Taylor and Dave Mackay to the club, during a period which saw them win the Second Division championship, two First Division titles and compete against the best in Europe.
Now 40 years on from the famous breakup of the relationship with Clough, Mr Longson’s family have decided to publish his memoirs following controversy over his portrayal in various novels and website debates, and in the recent high-profile movie The Damned United.
Son-in-law Robert Mulholland, who edited the book, said: “Sam wrote his autobiography in the 1980s but declined to publish it at the time because of the controversy surrounding the dispute with Brian Clough.
“He thought it would have an adverse effect on the football club and also on Brian’s career at that time.
“The ongoing unfair portrayals of Sam in the past few years has made the family go ahead with the publication to help create a balanced record of Sam’s contribution to local sport, the High Peak community, the history of Derby County and his relationship with Brian Clough, who he introduced to top-level football management.”
Aside from his sporting fame, Mr Longson was also a well-known and respected figure in the High Peak, building up successful transport and finance businesses, as well as various farming and agricultural enterprises, before retiring to concentrate on his beloved Derby County
Sam’s Story, published by Caron Publications (ISBN 978-0-947848-156), is out now in bookshops and on Amazon, priced £9.95.