Samuel's journalism career began on VE Day and continued, in that wonderfully relaxed and fulfilling freelance, semi-retired sort of way, well into his 80s, writing motoring, skiing, golf and travel features. Indeed, Samuel was writing right up until his death earlier this month.
When appointed, he inherited John Arlott in his pomp, soon after the Basil D'Oliveira campaign which helped to change sport, and ultimately society in South Africa, forever more. Also on the staff was John Rodda, undoubtedly the finest sports politics and Olympics correspondent of his age - and since - whose reports from Mexico City of the army shooting protesting students prior to the 1968 Games, and then in 1972, when the reporter got into the athletes' village in Munich after the beginnings of the Black September terrorist attack, defied news desks' snooty perceptions of sports writers' abilities.
In his near 20 years in charge of the sports desk on Farringdon Road, Samuel worked with and recruited some fine talents, including David Lacey, Frank Keating, Dai Davies, Matthew Engel, Paddy Barclay and Ian Ridley... There are many others, too.
Thing was, Samuel's patrician style of sports editing will probably never be seen again. Much of his best work was done in absentia, when Samuel would leave the page drawing and running of the desk to his able deputies, such as Charlie Burgess or Roger Alton. And whatever became of them?
A marvellously affectionate tribute to Samuel has been posted on the interweb by someone who knew him for less than three months - his masseur. It includes a couple of useful links, to Engel's obit in The Grauniad and some of Samuel's own recollections of his career published by the Sports Journalists' Association. It is well worth a read, and can be found by clicking here.