Cherno Samba is a former footballer who played internationally for England and Gambia, and at club-level with the likes of Millwall and Wrexham.
Since retiring, Cherno has become best known for being a cult hero on the computer game Championship Manager. His quick wit and likeable nature has seen him gain over 1.7 million social media followers, and appearances on BBC Radio, BBC Sport, CNN, Sky Sports News, and talkSPORT.
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Born in Gambia, Cherno Samba moved to the UK when he was six-years old, and it wasn’t long before he was making waves on the football scene.
When he was just 13 years old, he played for the St Joseph’s Academy football team in Blackheath, where he scored an amazing 132 goals in just 32 games, which makes it roughly four goals per game!
His professional career started at Millwall in 2002 where he stayed until 2004, before moving to the Spanish clubs Cádiz CF, Málaga CF B, and Úbeda CF. He returned to the UK in 2006, signing for Plymouth Argyle, making his Football League debut in the September. He has since played for Wrexham, Norwich City, Portsmouth, Forest Green Rovers, Alfreton Towl, Mansfield Town, Finnish teams FC Haka and FK Tønsberg, and Greek team Panetolikos.
As well as playing at club level, Cherno represented England at every youth level, before playing in a senior role for Gambia, where ehe played in the 2010 World Cup. He retired in 2015. His sporting legacy lives on though, as the Gambian team Samger FC is named in his honour, as is the Cherno Samba Academy of Football.
Cherno’s skills on the pitch have won him numerous awards of the years, including Young Sports Personality of the Year for London in 2000, and Man of the Match awards in games across the UK, Europe, and South America.
Since retiring from football, Cherno has become vocal on the topics of mental health, especially mental health in sport. He has disclosed that when he was a young player, he was suffering from depression, and at one point attempted to take his own life whilst playing in Spain.
Cherno has now become somewhat of a cult hero on the computer game Championship Manager, a series of football-management simulation games. Whilst he has personally said he’s never played it, his eponymous character turned out to be quite the good player within the game.