Mark Sampson

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Mark Sampson
Mark Sampson, England Ladies v Montenegro 5 4 2014 1058 (cropped).jpg
Sampson in 2014
Personal information
Date of birth (1982-10-18) 18 October 1982 (age 37)
Place of birth Creigiau, Wales
Playing position(s) Defender
Senior career*
Cardiff Corinthians
Teams managed
2008–2010 Taff's Well
2009–2013 Bristol Academy
2013–2017 England Women
2019 Stevenage (caretaker)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Mark Sampson (born 18 October 1982) is a Welsh football coach, who is currently assistant manager at Stevenage football club.


Playing career

Born and raised in Creigiau, [1] a suburb of Cardiff, Sampson played amateur football for Cardiff Corinthians, where his brother was the manager. [2]

Management career

Early years

After completing a BA in sports development at the University of Wales Institute, Sampson was employed by the Football Association of Wales Trust in 2003 as a coach co-ordinator. He went on to become a coach, teaching youth players at Cardiff City. [3]

In 2007, Sampson became head of Swansea City's centre of excellence whilst the club was under the management of Roberto Martínez, [3] working there until 2009. He was appointed manager of Welsh Football League club Taff's Well in November 2008, having previously been youth team coach at the club. [4] The following year, he was also appointed manager of FA Women's Premier League club Bristol Academy, leaving Taff's Well in May 2010. He led the club to finish as runners up in the 2013 FA WSL season, the club's best-ever finish, [5] and to FA Women's Cup finals in 2010–11 and 2012–13.

England women

In December 2013 Sampson was appointed manager of the England women's team. [5] In March 2015 England won the Cyprus Cup. In the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup later in the year, he led England to the semi-finals, marking the first time England had won a match beyond the group stage of a World Cup. After losing the semi-final to Japan, England secured victory in the match for third place, beating Germany for the first time in 21 games. [6]

On 20 September 2017, Sampson was sacked as the manager of the England women's national team because of what the FA described as, "clear evidence of inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour by a coach" [7] during his tenure as the manager of Bristol Academy prior to his appointment as England coach in 2014. An FA investigation into the allegations that led to his dismissal had concluded in 2014 that, "he did not pose a risk working in the game" [7] but the decision to terminate his employment was taken when senior FA figures read the full report in 2017.

This sacking followed FA investigations into allegations of racist behaviour and remarks by Sampson, brought by Eniola Aluko. The FA oversaw two investigations, the second of them an independent investigation by a barrister, Katharine Newton, which cleared Sampson. The FA reasserted, in their press release regarding his dismissal, that they continued to have confidence in those findings and his dismissal was unrelated to that issue saying, "In respect of investigations into specific allegations made by Eniola Aluko in 2016, The FA stands by the findings of the independent barrister Katharine Newton's investigation. [7] [8] [9] Sampson subsequently brought an unfair dismissal case against the FA.

On 18 October 2017, the FA apologised to players Eniola Aluko and Drew Spence after Katharine Newton concluded, on a balance of probabilities, in a third investigation that Mark Sampson made comments that were "discriminatory on the grounds of race". [10] The FA agreed to pay a "significant " financial settlement to Sampson in January 2019, on the week his claim for unfair dismissal was due to be heard in court. [11]


Mark Sampson was appointed as a first-team coach of Stevenage on 4 July 2019. [12] Sampson was appointed as caretaker manager on 9 September 2019 after the sacking of Dino Maamria. [13] Subsequently, Sampson was accused of using racist language in a coaches meeting by former first team coach Ali Uzunhasanoglu. Maamria also gave evidence against Sampson. The complaint was made a week after the meeting and after Uzunhasanoglu and Maamria had left the club. Stevenage denied the accusations, while the FA said they would investigate. [14] On 20 November 2019 Sampson was charged by the FA for using racist language. [15] On 15 December 2019 Stevenage announced that Graham Westley would return for this fourth stint as Stevenage's head coach, restoring Sampson to his previous role as a first team coach. [16] During his oversight the club played 18 matches, winning five, with seven draws, and six losses. On 20 January 2020 the charge against Sampson of using racist language was dismissed as not proven by the FA independent commission. [17] On 12 May 2020 Sampson confirmed he was taking legal action after the allegations were dismissed. [18]


England Women

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  1. Mark Sampson: Welshman at the heart of English football success BBC Sport, 25 June 2015
  2. Women’s World Cup guide: how to be an instant expert The Guardian, 1 July 2015
  3. 1 2
  4. Mark Sampson named as new Taffs Well manager Wales Online, 11 November 2008
  5. 1 2 Mark Sampson appointed new England women boss by FA BBC News, 6 December 2013
  6. Lauletta, Dan (5 July 2015). "Bassett starts, England beats Germany for 3rd place". The Equalizer. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  7. 1 2 3 Association, The Football. "FA terminates Sampson's contract". The Football Association.
  8. Lauletta, Dan (20 September 2017). "Mark Sampson sacked as England women's manager". BBC Sport. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  9. "Why the FA sacked Mark Sampson as manager of the England women's team". London Evening Standard. 21 September 2017.
  10. "Mark Sampson: FA apologises over remarks to Eniola Aluko & Drew Spence". BBC News. 18 October 2017.
  11. Wallace, Sam (9 January 2019). "Sacked former England Women manager Mark Sampson to receive significant payout from FA". The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  12. "Mark Sampson: Stevenage appoint former England women manager as first-team coach". BBC Sport. 4 July 2019.
  13. "Club Statement: Dino Maamria". Stevenage F.C. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  14. "Stevenage say Mark Sampson has no case to answer over racist language allegation". 12 September 2019 via
  15. "Mark Sampson: Stevenage caretaker charged with using racist language by FA". 20 November 2019 via
  16. "Graham Westley returns to Stevenage". Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  17. Sampson charge dismissed