Along with his twin sister, he was one of the first births in Emmerdale Farm. Born in 1973, Sam is named after his maternal great-grandfather Sam Pearson. His mother died three months after his birth of a brain haemorrhage. Matt was unable to cope with the twins and so sent them to live with his aunt, Beattie Dowton.
On 13th January 1976, Beattie and the twins were killed when a train struck her car on a level crossing. In 1982, Matt had another son by his second wife Dolly Acaster and named him Samuel Skilbeck after his dead half-brother. Sam Pearson, Peggy's grandfather, was delighted.
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