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The Champ Man dream has died: Cherno Samba is retiring

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This is like Nii Lamptey all over again.

The sound of a million childhood dreams ending can be heard across the UK with the news that Championship Manager legend Cherno Samba is retiring from football at the age of just 29.

Appearing in one of the definitive versions of the game -- the 2001/02 edition, Samba was poised for greatness at the time, being aged 16 and having appeared for England at every youth level up until that point, as well as famously scoring 132 goals in 32 games for his school team when aged 13. Thus, virtually every play of the game he would go on to become a pivotal player for England racking up goals season after season.

Cherno Samba Champ Man

Sadly, the reality turned out to be different. Despite continuing his progress with England - eventually representing the under-20s - his career at Millwall stalled, never making a senior appearance. He eventually left for Cadiz in Spain in 2004, finally making his debut for Malaga B on loan a year later, eventually scoring 11 goals in 18 games. Ian Holloway brought him back to England in 2006, but he played just 13 games for Plymouth, scoring a solitary goal, as well as three matches on loan at Wrexham.

In 2008 he finally hit the international stage - albeit for Gambia, where he was born - scoring one goal in four games. Spells at Finnish side Haka, Panetolikos in Greece and FK Tønsberg in Norway followed, while trials for Mansfield, Forest Green Rovers and Alfreton came to nothing.

Yesterday, he announced his retirement at the age of 29 via Twitter citing 'persistent ankle injuries'. His final career record was 15 goals in 51 senior games, with those Gambian appearances on top. It's not quite what we envisaged when he was banging them in for us in the Champions League.



Ibrahima Bakayoko. John Curtis. Tommy Svindal Larsen. Tonton Zola Moukoko. Cherno Samba. We will never forget.

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