A footballing pioneer from Oxfordshire who illustrious career across the country, has died.

Cyril, ‘Sammy’ Chung was born in Abingdon to English mother and Chinese father, on July 16 1932.

He became the second Anglo-Chinese professional footballer in the country when he started his career with Abingdon Town and then Headington United in between 1950 and 1953.

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Capable of playing wing-half or centre forward, a move to Reading followed for Chung and once he’d completed national service he signed professionally for the first time.

He went on to score 13 goals for the Royals and earned a move to Norwich City.

However, it is at Watford where Chung’s playing career was best known. He played 242 times for the Hornets across the third and fourth tiers of the English game and scored 24 times.

Following this, Chung stepped into coaching at Ipswich Town under his former boss at Watford Bill McGarry, and once he moved to Wolverhampton Wanders at Molineux, Chung followed as assistant.

The duo lead Wolves to 1974 League Cup glory with victory over Manchester City and the final of the UEFA Cup – the club’s only appearance in a major European final to date.

Then, following relegation, McGarry left and Chung took over, going on to oversee 41 victories in his 107 Wolves matches.

Chung guided Wolves instantly back into the top tier by claiming the 1977 Second Division title and kept the club up the following season, before departing in November 1978.

Roles in the game followed his departure in 1978, including the managerial jobs at Tamworth and Doncaster Rovers, coaching in UAE and serving as a director of football in Barbados.

On Sunday, Chung passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 90, following a long illness.

Neil Perry, a Wolves fan who frequents Oxford to visit family, called Chung a “gentleman of the game” and feels “sad” at news of his death.

Mr Perry explained: “All the Wolves fans loved him. There were no Wolves fans who did not like him.

“He always stayed a loyal Wolves fan afterwards.”

During his teenage years, Mr Perry had a season ticket and saw Chung’s management style first-hand.

Mr Perry explained that he was “very much with the players and talking to the players a lot”.

“Football management was not like it is today. He was on the training ground with them and he was seeing who is fit and who is playing well.

“He commanded respect for the way he conducted himself on and off the pitch.”


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This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing: sophie.perry@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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