Tributes paid to Wakefield Trinity star Malcolm Sampson

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TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Wakefield Trinity forward who died on Wednesday.

Malcolm Sampson, who played for Wakefield during the 1950s and 60s, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease five years ago.

The 72-year-old remains the only Wakefield forward to score at Wembley after scoring in the club’s Challenge Cup victory over Wigan in 1963.

But it was not just rugby that Mr Sampson was renowned for.

He was also a well-known builder in his home village of Stanley.

And he also ran the village football team, The Travellers, after his retirement from 

Mr Sampson played 98 first team games for Wakefield, either side of a spell with Hull but he was sidelined for three years with an injury.

The former prop was badly hurt in a car accident in 1960 which led to a lengthy spell on the touchline.

And after doctors and specialists told him he would never be able to play rugby again he proved them wrong and went on to score in the famous victory at Wembley.

Mr Sampson’s brother, Dave, who played alongside him for three seasons at Trinity, said: “Malcolm was the kind of guy that everybody loved. He had a very dry sense of humour and a very strong character.

“His legacy is some of the beautiful houses he has built in Stanley and he is still the only Wakefield forward to score at Wembley.”

Mr Sampson leaves behind wife Avis, daughter Victoria, son Lee and four grandchildren.

Mr Sampson added: “When doctors first told him he had motor neuron disease, he asked them if he had still got time to plant his potatoes.

“And that was just the kind of guy he was.

“He will be missed by a lot people - both young and old. He will be very sadly missed.”

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats club historian, Lee Robinson, said: “He was one of those guys who always had time for people.”

Mr Sampson’s funeral will be held at Wakefield Crematorium, Standbridge Lane, Crigglestone on Wednesday, October 17 at 2.40pm.

Donations in lieu of flowers to the Motor Neurone Disease Association.