ST MIRREN keeper Craig Samson has terminated his contract at the Simple Digital Arena with immediate effect to become the new goalkeeping coach under Jack Ross at Sunderland.

The 34-year-old, who has made 17 starts for the Buddies this season, including all 13 of their Premiership matches, announced his shock retirement this afternoon.

Samson made more than 100 appearances for the Paisley club across two spells, winning the League Cup back in 2013 before being lured back to Paisley by Ross and going on to win the Championship last season with the now Sunderland manager.

The Gazette:

The keeper will link up with former Buddies boss Ross 

Samson’s decision to hang up his boots sees a 17-year playing career, which included spells with Motherwell, Dundee United, Ross County and Kilmarnock, come to an end.

Speaking to, Samson said: “I’d like to say thank you to the St Mirren fans for the way they’ve treated me and my family. It’s the best club I have ever been at. The way they have treated me, and everyone associated with me, has been absolutely amazing.

“I know it’s not ideal timing, but it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up on. I hope the club can do really well and stay in the division as they really deserve it.”

The Gazette:

Kearney offered Samson his best wishes 

St Mirren manager Oran Kearney said: “First and foremost, we’d like to thank Craig for his magnificent service to the club.

“He’s been a great character and an ultimate professional in my time at the club and goes with our best wishes.

“We discussed the option of Craig staying until January, but we feel it is in everyone’s best interests that he takes up his new role with immediate effect.”

As part of the move, Sunderland have agreed to play a pre-season match against Saints at the Simple Digital Arena in summer 2019.