A farewell message from Sammy and his best moments
Sammy Moore is now carefully contemplating his next move in football, but the midfielder says he will always be an AFC Wimbledon supporter after his memorable five years at the club.
The picture gallery above sums up Sammy’s best moments at Wimbledon, including celebrating his winner at Wycombe Wanderers with Simon Bassey, who was caretaker manager at the time. That was just one of the occasions when Wimbledon needed someone to step-up to the mark during troubled times – and Sammy was often that man.
Now 27 years of age, Sammy regarded it as a privilege to wear blue and yellow in every one of his 183 club appearances.
Speaking to the official website shortly after it was announced he would be leaving the club, Sammy said: “I was not a supporter when I first joined, but now I certainly am! I want us to get promoted and for the club to rise through the leagues. Since I first came here on trial five years ago the fans have been behind me. The support they have shown me has been fantastic. There are not many clubs at this level who get such a good travelling support away from home. I knew about the history of Wimbledon, but I did not realise how special the club was until I joined.
“It is a unique club because it is owned by the fans. There are a lot of volunteers at the club and it all means so much to them. There are also people behind the scenes that do wonderful jobs, such as David Charles (Club Secretary) and Erik Samuelson (Chief Executive). I must also thank the manager and his staff because I am a much better player than when I first joined five years ago. It has been an honour to play for this club. In particular, it was a privilege to play a major part in the club’s promotion to the Football League. I played 30-odd games that season even though I missed the final.”
Sammy, who runs the M & M Football Academy in Kent with Jack Midson, added that he will not be rushing into any decisions about his next move away from Wimbledon this summer.
“I need a fresh challenge now and there have been a few clubs enquiring about me already,” said Sammy. “But I have not got anything set in stone yet. I want to wait and see what offers come up for me. It needs to be the right move at this stage of my career and I will not rush into anything.”
Sammy joined the Dons in July, 2010, just before that remarkable season that ended with play-off glory in Manchester. Below, he selects his personal favourite matches from each season:
Ebbsfleet United away (18 November, 2010)
The Dons were heading out of the FA Cup at 2-1 down until Sammy equalised in injury-time and he struck again with almost the last kick of extra-time to earn a dramatic 3-2 win.
“We looked to be heading out of the FA Cup, but I got on the end of a cross from Luke Moore with a volley and that saved us. I remember the crowd going wild and you could see how much it meant. Then I managed to get the winner in extra-time. It showed that we had that Wimbledon spirit because we never gave up and it was the furthest we had got in the FA Cup at the time.”
Crawley Town away (14 April, 2012)
In a match overshadowed by a broken leg to Jason Prior early on, Wimbledon still needed to stay professional and come up with a result as relegation was still a possibility. A great finish from Sammy put the Dons 1-0 up and though Gary Alexander equalised, a 1-1 draw made certain of survival.
“Having just got into the Football League, we desperately wanted to stay up. This result meant that we did it and it was a great personal achievement for me to win the Player of the Year award.”
Fleetwood Town home (27 April, 2013)
The tension was unbearable around the Cherry Red Records Stadium as Neal Ardley’s men battled to keep the club in the Football League, but Jack Midson kept a cool head to steer home the winner from the penalty spot.
“That was a tough season. We never hit the ground running in pre-season and that carried over when we started the new campaign. The manager came in and he did brilliantly to keep us up. On the last day of the season we just knew we had to give it our all. The club did not deserve to go down and you could see how much it meant to everyone when we stayed up.”
Portsmouth at home (16 November, 2013)
Sammy struck the third goal in a 4-0 and it came in great style too as he volleyed home from outside the box. The Dons were rampant and Sammy’s all-action midfield display proved to be instrumental.
“We steamrollered them and they simply could not live with us. We fully deserved the win and it was great to get a goal in that game.”
Liverpool at home (5 January, 2014)
The Dons threatened to pull off an FA Cup upset when Bayo Akinfenwa equalised, but a free-kick from Steven Gerrard – his second of the game – proved decisive.
“"To play against top players and give such a good account of ourselves was a real highlight. We were taking on a team worth millions of pounds, but we matched them for long spells. We deserved that chance because our win at Wycombe was our best performance of the season.”