Samba Saturday

ARGYLE welcome former striker Cherno Samba back to the Theatre of Greens for Saturday’s Sky Bet League One clash with Fleetwood Town.

Cherno will be our special guest for the game and also in the Argyle Superstore from 12-1.15pm and 1.30-2pm, signing copies of his new book, Still in the Game.

Samba arrived at Home Park in the summer of 2006 and made an instant impact, scoring the winner for Argyle after coming on as a substitute at Coventry City.

Recruited by manager Ian Holloway, Cherno’s career had drifted a little since the early hype of his junior days and he found it hard to make a major impact at Home Park, although he was contending for a striking berth against Barry Hayles and Sylvain Ebanks-Blake, who had formed a devastating partnership in the Championship.

Born in Gambia, Cherno’s father played as a goalkeeper for the Gambian national team, but the family moved to Watford when Cherno was six and he was picked up by Millwall at the age of 13.

A stellar youth career saw a number of top clubs show interest and Millwall turned down big money from Liverpool for his signature. The world of expectation was placed on teenage shoulders and Cherno, understandably, found it difficult.

He represented England at numerous junior levels but decided to try his luck in Spain, signing for Cadiz CF. It was from here that he was recruited by Holloway, breaking up his time at Home Park with a loan spell at Wrexham.

After his release from Argyle, Cherno again tried his luck abroad with Finnish club FC Haka and then Greek side Panetolikos. A number of trials at English clubs followed but injury sadly called time on a career that had so much early promise. On the international stage, Cherno made four appearances for Gambia and scored his first goal in a friendly against Tunisia.

He is also renowned for being a superstar on the computer game, Championship Manager, where gamers would sign him early as someone who developed into a world great. All good fun for gamers, but Cherno has admitted he never actually played the game himself.

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