Feature by Tony Scholes
Updated Sunday, 22nd July 2012
Date and Place of Birth
22nd September 1945 - Belfast
Transfers to and from Burnley
from Glentoran - September 1962
to Sheffield Wednesday - May 1970 (£40,000)
First and Last Burnley Games
Tottenham Hotspur (h) - 21st April 1964
Leeds United (a) - 4th April 1970
Sheffield Wednesday, Mansfield Town (loan)
Burnley Career Stats
|Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Others||Total|
Profile by Tony Scholes
When Sammy Todd arrived at Turf Moor in 1962 he joined two other players at Turf Moor, Jimmy McIlroy and Alex Elder, who had followed the same route to Burnley from Irish League club Glentoran.
Todd was just 16 when he arrived and had taken his second opportunity to move to England. He'd previously had a trial with Leeds United but decided against leaving his home country at the time and signed for the Glens. This time he was happy to stay and in September signed professional forms for the Clarets on his 17th birthday.
When the chance came he made an immediate impression in the reserve team, a player capable of playing in a number of positions with his best probably at centre half. It looked very much as if we'd found ourselves another gem from the East Belfast club.
Within two years, he'd made a first team debut. It came in the last game of the 1963/64 season at home to Spurs. John Angus had been out injured and Fred Smith, Angus' deputy was also ruled out so the young Todd filled in at right back in what proved to be a sensational end to the season as Burnley beat Spurs 7-2 in a game in which Gordon Harris, Willie Irvine and Brian O'Neil all scored twice.
Over the next two seasons he started to settle into a first team position, although at no time was he a regular. He played just under half of the games in both seasons but it was enough for him to alert the Northern Ireland management.
He made four under-23 appearances for his country but better was to come. As Burnley finished the 1965/66 season in third place, Todd had become the first choice at left half, playing all of the last eleven games alongside Brian Miller.
Only Liverpool and Leeds finished the season above us and Todd turned in some outstanding performances during the run in and that led to him winning his first cap at full international level.
His debut for Northern Ireland came that summer, in a friendly against Mexico in Belfast, a game the Irish won 4-1. He was used as a substitute that day, coming on for Wolves' Dave Clements, and played alongside fellow Clarets Alex Elder, who scored his only international goal, and Willie Irvine.
Four months later he got his first start for his country in a European Qualifier against England, again playing alongside Elder and Irvine, but for some reason he wasn't able to push things forward after that.
He didn't make another international appearance for fourteen months and by then he'd found himself in and out of the Burnley team again. John Talbut left the club during the 1966/67 season and Miller retired, it looked as though Todd would go on to take advantage.
It didn't work out. Dave Merrington was often preferred whilst Colin Blant was converted from centre forward. When Colin Waldron arrived in October 1967 there was even more competition for places in the centre of defence.
By the end of the 1967/68 season he'd spent four seasons where he'd played around half of the games. Still 22, it was thought he would really begin to establish himself in the side. It just didn't happen. Jim Thomson came to strengthen the defensive options and Todd started only six league games that season.
Ironically, his best season was to come but it proved to be his last in Burnley colours. He started the 1969/70 season well but lost his place midway through as the influence of Jimmy Adamson grew. The writing was on the wall when Adamson became boss, although Todd did, temporarily, win his place back.
By the end of the season the preferred central defenders were Waldron and Martin Dobson and for Todd, in the summer of 1970, it was time to move on. The season had hardly ended when he signed for Sheffield Wednesday, a side who had just been relegated from the first division.
He'd just won his eighth international cap and he went on to win three more during his time at Hillsborough, although it wasn't a successful move for him. He played just 24 times in the league for them and in the last of his four seasons there spent a short time with Mansfield on loan where he played six times.
In May 1974 he ended his professional career at the age of 28 and moved back to the Burnley area where he played for both Great Harwood Town and Padiham before ending his playing days in Dallas Texas, playing for Dallas Tornado.
I was always a fan of Todd. At times he looked a class act. He was a very elegant player and able to play in a more forward role on occasions.
I could never understand why he didn't establish himself more at Burnley but more than once I've been told that if he lacked anything it was the desire needed to play at the very top.
I was once told a story about Todd which I have no reason to disbelief. If true, it does probably say something about him.
It was in the early days of substitutes. He was out of the side at the time and manager Harry Potts asked him if he'd like to be the substitute on the following Saturday.
Todd said yes, but later returned to ask Potts where the game was. When told it was at Arsenal he kindly declined because he'd been invited out that night with his wife and there were pie and peas on. It does sound farfetched but who knows.
One thing about Todd and being substitute. In 1967 he was the player who replaced Miller at Villa Park, the day Miller's playing career ended. He came on sporting a claret number 12 on his white Burnley shirt, the first time a Burnley substitute had worn a number, previously the shirt had always been without number.
Without doubt, Todd should have had a much better career than he did overall. He was good enough to have played consistently at the top level of English football.