“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Born in Neath, United Kingdom, Wycombe Wanderers FC forward Alex Samuel has taken a long road to get to where he is today. Starting his professional career with the Aberystwyth Town Football Club, he spent time throughout his young career with Swansea City, on various loans, and a couple years with Stevenage. After being released from the team after the 2017 season, Samuel was without a contract and dealing with injuries that left him and his wife concerned about what the future may hold. Alex Samuel, however, says he trusted that God had a greater plan in store.
Alex Samuel credits his faith in God as a primary reason for everything he does. However, Samuel says that faith was not always an important part of his life. “I wasn’t brought up in a Christian household, at the age of 11 my parents went through a tough divorce which ripped the family apart. Every night in my desperation I would pray to God and I experienced him there with me, I fell in love with his presence. From there it’s just been a journey of discovering how amazing God our Father is.” As he has been on that discovery journey, things still were not easy for Samuel. He trusted, though, that even in the midst of the most difficult times, God was in control.
That trusting in God’s plan came into focus more than ever before after the 2017 season. Samuel finished the season being released by Stevenage. Without a job and with a wife to support, Samuel wondered if he might have to look to another profession to help pay the bills. But in the midst of those trials, Samuel says he relied on God to take control. During this time, Samuel says he leaned on Isaiah 41:10, which says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Even in the midst of his trials, he trusted God had a plan. Samuel says, “3 years ago I was let go by my previous club, unemployed and injured. I was seriously in a bad place, and God spoke through this verse and was my anchor to hold on. God showed me visions and dreams, he showed me that it was going to Wycombe and teammates at Wycombe being saved and that’s exactly what has happened. He is Faithful.”
Now playing with the Wycombe Wanderers, Alex Samuel helped lead his team to one of the biggest underdog stories in English football as the worn down and financially strained team went to their first ever Championship campaign in 2020. Throughout their success, Samuel and many of his teammates have credited God. Talking about faith, Samuel says that it is one of the biggest reasons for his success. “It’s everything to me, I honestly can say without my relationship with God I couldn’t be a footballer! The pressures, injuries, and rejection of the game would have broken me, but I can fully lean on God knowing he has a great plan for me.”
As Samuel continues his career and looks to keep providing for his club, he also is focused on making an impact away from the game. Wycombe has become known for being home to staples of faith in the sport. Samuel and 3 of his teammates shared their testimonies and stories of faith on the airwaves to help deliver a church service on local stations earlier in the year. They pray before games and encourage one another. Samuel says that he has learned that although the results of the game may not always go your way, and although you may not be certain of what your future holds, you can trust that God is still working and has a greater plan for it all.
*Photos courtesy of Alex Samuel