Samuel Michael "Sam" Vokes (born 21 October 1989) is a professional footballer who plays as a striker for English club Burnley and the Wales national team.
Vokes began his professional career at then League One Bournemouth, making his debut in 2006. His form there earned a move to Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he helped them win promotion to the Premier League in his first season.
He has become an established member of the Welsh national team, who he has also represented at under-21 level. Born and raised in England, Vokes is eligible to represent Wales through a grandfather born there.
Born in Southampton and raised in Lymington, Vokes stepped up into Bournemouth's first team on 5 December 2006 in a 2–0 victory over Nottingham Forest. His first senior goal came in a 1–1 draw at Gillingham on 16 December. This form saw the club give him a three-and-a-half-year professional contract during the following month.
The striker remained at Bournemouth during the 2007–08 season, despite being linked to several other clubs, including Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Everton and Celtic. The youngster was a bright spark in an otherwise tumultuous season for the Cherries as they were embroiled in a club ownership saga. His 12-goal tally could not prevent Bournemouth from being relegated to League Two.
On 31 July 2012, Vokes joined Championship side Burnley permanently signing a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee, believed to be £350k. On 2 December, Vokes scored an equalising goal for Burnley in the 89th-minute against fierce rivals Blackburn Rovers a game which ended 1–1. Despite this goal, Vokes struggled to establish himself in the first eleven and was used predominantly as a substitute. This was mainly down to the form of top scorer Charlie Austin, with manager Sean Dyche often opting to partner Austin with fellow strikers Martin Paterson or Danny Ings, both being quicker and more mobile than Vokes.
On the eve of the 2013–2014 Championship season, Burnley agreed a deal with Queens Park Rangers for the transfer of Charlie Austin, who had attracted lots of attention from Premier League teams throughout the summer. With Austin moving out of the club, this gave Vokes his long awaited chance in the starting eleven, and he finished the season with 21 goals in 44 games.
On 8 August 2015, on the opening day of the 2015–16 Championship season, Vokes scored his first league goal since returning from a knee injury for Burnley against former club Leeds United in a 1–1 draw.
Born and brought up in England, Vokes is eligible to represent Wales through a grandfather born there. Upon discovering Vokes' eligibility, Wales U21 coach Brian Flynn called him up to the Welsh under-21 team, and he made his debut against Northern Ireland on 6 February 2007. The seventeen-year-old made an instant impression by scoring after 36 seconds, a team record, in a 4–0 victory. He remained in the team and featured in their European U-21 Championship qualifying campaign.
He was soon called up to the senior squad and made his debut in a 1–0 friendly win over Iceland on 28 May 2008. Vokes scored his first senior international goal when he netted the winner in a 1–0 win over Azerbaijan in their opening 2010 World Cup qualifier on 6 September 2008; his second international goal came in a friendly against Montenegro on 12 August 2009. In November 2011 Vokes came on as an 85th-minute substitute and scored two goals in a 4–1 win over Norway. In February 2013 he scored one goal against Austria. Just over a year later he scored again in March 2014, against Iceland. On 1 July 2016, Vokes came on as a substitute and scored for Wales in a 3–1 win over Belgium at Euro 2016, sealing the victory to take Wales to their first ever semi-final appearance at a major tournament.