Sam Obisanya is a main recurring character featured in the Apple TV+ series, Ted Lasso and a Back Defender for AFC Richmond. Before his time in the current club, he used to play for a club in the Nigerian Football League. He is an optimistic man and usually gets along with other team members and even participates in group activities such as karaoke and dancing in clubs.
He is close with other team players such as Thierry Zoreaux, Colin Hughes, Dani Rojas, Jan Maas, Isaac McAdoo, Moe Bumbercatch, and Richard Montlaur; he spend some time with them by going to the clubs and karaoke. In the second season, he is involved romantically with Rebecca Welton, the owner of the AFC Richmond.
A Memorable Birthday
When Sam's performance dips during training sessions and games, Ted Lasso and Coach Beard decide it would be a good idea to celebrate Sam's birthday. Using a box designed by Nathan Shelley, Ted encourages players to make donations in order to buy a gift for Sam to boost his confidence. Most players do this, apart from Jamie Tartt who put chewing gum in the box, much to the dismay of Ted.
Nevertheless, the birthday party is a great success at lifting Sam's spirits and starting him on a path towards increased productivity for the team. He is buoyed by his team's efforts to get him gifts like Chin Chin, a favourite food of his. While he gently appreciates Ted's gift of a green army man, he gives it back - citing the toy's ties to American imperialism.
On The Pitch
During the match against Watford F.C., one of the main ways in which Ted is trying to use Sam strategically is a sort of a final act of misdirection in front of the goal. The coach repeatedly tries to convince Jamie to make a final cross to Sam to throw defenders off-guard. But Jamie's essential egotism wouldn't allow this. One of the Watford players tackles Sam - but instead of helping, Jamie walks over him which infuriates Roy Kent. He and Jamie argue and have to be separated by their team players. After Jamie gets a yellow card, Roy checks on Sam and tells him to pretend to be hurt to get sympathy from everyone. After Jamie's removal from the match by replacing him with Robbie Roberts, Roy executes the desired play, and Sam scores a winning goal.
During a subsequent training, Sam reverses the play and gives a much-appreciated cross to a newcomer Dani Rojas who successfully scores on the misdirection.
Dani gets injured, and everyone says that the treatment room is cursed. Sam says that the players are embarrassed to mention the whole superstitious so Ted decides to call every player to The Crown & Anchor and tell them to listen to Leslie Higgins and pub owner Mae telling a story about the origin of the curse. Sam asks what they should do to get rid of the curse, and Ted suggests that they should come to the treatment room and bring an item from each player at midnight to do a 'ghost cleansing' ritual ceremony.
Sam goes to Rebecca's office and asks her to join the ceremony. His appeal to her is heartfelt, and he can turn her initial reluctance into acceptance by convincing her that she is necessary to the cause, which depends on the presence of all team members. During this conversation, he reveals that he is into magic - though mostly because he's a Harry Potter fan. During the ritual, he throws a framed picture of the 1994 Nigerian World Cup team into a bin before they take it outside and set it on fire.
Dubai Air and The Return of Jamie Tartt
Sam is quite frustrated when he sees a picture of Jamie and Ted together, citing how the young man treated him and the team badly at the club back then. He tells Ted as much, and the coach reassures him that Jamie is not returning. Sam tells Ted that his father always talks nicely about how the coach makes him feel safe. However, Sam is shocked when he sees the ex-Richmond striker take to the training pitch, and he gives a betrayal look at Ted. During the first training session, Sam tackles Jamie hard to make it clear that things have changed at the club.
Keeley Jones has arranged for Sam to participate in a photoshoot with Dubai Air, the club's sponsor, and he's excited about it. It is only later his father messages him that the airline is owned by a company called Ceritihium Oil, a corporation that is responsible for polluting widespread damage in his native home country, that he asks Rebecca to be disassociated with the sponsor. Rebecca says she will handle it as the CEO of the Ceritihium Oil is Rupert Mannion's billionaire friend named Richard Cole, and she will ask the man for a favor. Sam also apologizes to Keeley after she had worked very hard for the players' campaign ad, which she accepts.
Before the match against Coventry City, Sam covers the Dubai Air logo on his uniform with black tape as an act of protest. Isaac McAdoo and Tommy Winchester are the first who cover their uniforms as an act of solidarity for being fellow Nigerians. Jamie also covers the logo on his uniform as a sign that he is now a part of the team. The rest follows and stands together getting some respect from others. During the press conference, Trent Crimm asks Sam whether he is accusing the Nigerian government of corruption, to which he replied, "Yes, I am."
Ted says to the young man that "doing the right thing is never the wrong thing" regarding his statement. In the locker room, the whole team is celebrating for breaking the tie streak. Jamie gives Sam a toast for doing something incredible and courageous. They ended the day by taking group pictures with Nora and her mother Flo Collins.
Sam and Rebecca
Sam is chatting to a woman on the dating app Bantr and finds himself getting serious about her. After some time, he asks her to meet at a restaurant named “Le Tucci” to which she says yes. To prepare himself, Sam wants a haircut from Isaac which is a rare treat as he only does this for any player once a season. Sam waits in the restaurant for his mystery contact, and he meets Rebecca. The pair thought it's a coincidence, but eventually, they realise that they have been talking to each other all along. Sam is able to convince Rebecca to stay for dinner, not as a date but as a friend. The two actually had a nice time together in the restaurant. After they finished, Sam takes Rebecca home in which they kissed in front of her home.
After the loss in the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City, Rebecca sends Sam a text asking if he is around and he gives her his address. Unbeknownst to Rebecca, Sam turns up at her house as she is getting ready to leave. They embrace and step inside her house together.
For the next few weeks, Sam has been seeing Rebecca secretly. One day while they are being intimate in her kitchen, Rebecca's mother Deborah appears suddenly and announces that her husband has died. Sam and the rest of the team go to the church for the funeral, where they both talk awkwardly and pretend that there is nothing romantic between them. Rebecca sings 'Never Gonna Give You Up' during the funeral, where Sam and the rest of the mourners also sing together with her. During the wake at her house, Sam grabs her inside a closet for privacy and then he gives her a comforting hug. Rebecca tells him that they need a break from their relationship because she needs to figure out some things. Sam accepts the pause in their relationship with a sad smile.
Sam receives many compliments from everyone including Arlo White and Chris Powell because he has achieved a Hat-Trick in a match. Rebecca also complimented him, but she doesn't say anything about their relationship. While they are practicing a dance routine for Sharon Fieldstone's goodbye party, a private helicopter lands on their practice field, and billionaire Edwin Akufo arrives with his entourage. He meets with Rebecca, Keeley, Ted, and Higgins at the office and announces that he wants to buy Sam's contract.
He wants to create a new African Football Club and Sam would be a part of it. Edwin takes Sam to a museum and a dinner at a Nigerian restaurant, offering him a position in the club, stating that Sam is one of the best football players he'd ever seen, and it will be great to have him as a part of the team. Edwin mentions that he's buying Raja Casablanca football club in Morocco, and he wants to fill it with the best African players. Sam needs some time to think about it so he asks his father, Ola Obisanya, whether he should take the offer and join the new club. Ola wisely says that Sam should stop looking for an answer and let the universe provide the sign for him.
During the match against Brentford, Sam is able to score a goal and it leads them closer to their club's promotion. They finally win the match in a tie, and everyone is celebrating. Edwin is waiting for Sam and thinks that Sam will accept his offer but Sam politely declines and is thankful that he was being considered, but he still has a lot of things to do in AFC Richmond. Edwin gets upset and throws a tantrum for being rejected by Sam. He screams and vows that Sam will regret the decision - he even calls him a "medium talent". Sam is surprised to see Edwin's reaction but says nothing.
Sam goes to the office to tell Rebecca about Edwin Akufo, but Ted is there too. So he tells both of them that he rejected Edwin's offer and now the billionaire has left. Ted asks why he'd decide to stay, in which Sam stares at him and declares that he stays because it's what's best for him and his personal journey, and not because of his feelings to Rebecca, although he doesn't say that part out loud.
Three weeks later, Sam buys a property in town and he plans to make a Nigerian restaurant.
From Arlo White's cheat sheet: