Guzi, Samuel (22.9.1893-24.12.1977)


Born in Floriana, Samuel started playing football in the streets with Floriana Victoria, a team founded by his elder brother Salvu in 1908. This club formed the basis of the great Floriana team of the pre-World War I era. It was the start of a great era for Floriana. Between 1909 and 1913, the 'Irish' won the championship three times in succession and the cup twice. Tle secret behind this success was Floriana's great forward line which read like a fairy tale. Jack Herbert, Salvu Samuel, Jack Holland, Alex Semini, and GuziSamuel were all specialists in the art of goal-scoring.

Before settling down with Floriana, Samuel plaved for Columbia FC and St Barbara FC of Vailetta. In 1910, although still only 17 year old, he made his debut for Floriana as a left-winger. He soon settled down in the side and before long he formed a deadly partnership with Jack Herbert.

Samuel took part in all the league and cup competitions held in Malta between 1910 and 1918. Competitive matches in those days were few and far between but Samuel made up for this by playing in a large number of prestigious matches against the best Service teams.

Between 1914 and 1918 Floriana did not form a team. Samuel, therefore, was forced to seek other pastures and played for Valletta United and Sliema Wanderers. Unfortunately the records for this period are very sketchy and we do not know the exact number of matches played by this great player is not known. . In 1919, when still at the height of his career, Guzi emigrated to the United States together with his brother Salvu. On the way to America, Guzi stopped for a short while in England where he was given a trial with Southport United against Liverpool. For a time it seemed as if he might play professional football for the English club but in those days the life of a professional footballer was very difficult. Abandoning a chance of a soccer career in the top league of the world, he resumed his journey to the USA.

Upon settling down in Detroit, Samuel started playing for Solvay FC. In 1921 he helped form the famous Maltese club, Sons of Malta FC, which was composed solely of Maltese emigrants.

Samuel captained the team up to 1924 when he left the club to join the Hungarian team, Magyar FC of Detroit, with whom he stayed up to the end of his career in the late Twenties.

Samuel passed away on 24th December 1977.

Source: Maltese Biographies of the Twentieth Century (1997), editors Michael J. Schiavone and Louis J. Scerri

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