Sam Bartram played football for Boldon Colliery School, Sunderland Schoolboys and for County Durham then he became a miner and played for Boldon Villa. In the 1920's he played wing-half for Durham.
In the following years he played as a wing-half, centre forward and later as goalkeeper for Villa before joining Charlton Athletic in 1934 for whom he played for 22 years and was never dropped from the team. I believe that he owes his goalkeeping career to the unfortunate illness of the goalkeeper of his team as Sam was spotted by a scout while acting as substitute goalie.
It was an incredible quirk of fate that gave Sam his leap into prosperity and fame. During a match for Boldon Villa, which Sam would never forget, Jimmy Seed from Whitburn, a Scout for Charlton Athletic decided to attend. This is where fate took over. Sam was playing mid field when the goal keeper was injured, Sam, took over in goal and played such a blinder the Jimmy Seed didn’t hesitate to recommend him to Charlton and the rest is history. That day Jimmy Seed also took with him Jack Shreene and impressive full back.
Charlton Athletic celebrated their centenary on Sunday 17th October with a match against Newastle where they opened a fund to raise a statue of their most famous player, Sam Bartram, to mark the occassion. It could not have been a better team for Charlton to play on this day as Sam Bartram had been a fanatical supporter of Newcastle as a boy and young man.Mike Blake is researching for a book about Sam and would be pleased to receive any further insight into his Boldons days. So if you have anything you would like to have recorded for posterity please put a message on the message board or start a photo album. Perhaps some of the older members of your family will remember him personally.
There is now a biography of Sam available, "Sam Bartram The Story of a Goalkeeping Legend" by Mike Blake at £14.99. ISBN 0 7524 3574 4. ( There is an order form in the messages section if you find difficulty in finding a copy.
Links to other Boldon Characters:
Catherine Lynch | Cristobal Compois | Elaine Carr | Etta | Hannah Walker | Harry Reay | Hilary and Wout | Howard Ross | Ian Cullen | Keith Jones | Ken Longstaff | Sam Bartram | Yvonne Quenet