George Robledo

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"Jorge Robledo" redirects here. For the conquistador, see Jorge Robledo (conquistador).
George Robledo
George Robledo.jpg
Personal information
Full name Jorge Robledo Oliver
Date of birth (1926-04-14)14 April 1926
Place of birth Iquique, Chile
Date of death 1 April 1989(1989-04-01) (aged 62)
Place of death Viña del Mar, Chile
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Inside forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1946–1949 Barnsley 105 (45)
1949–1953 Newcastle United 146 (82)
1953–1958 Colo-Colo 153 (84)
1959–1960 Club Deportivo O'Higgins ? (?)
National team
1950–1957 Chile 31 (8)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Jorge "George" Robledo Oliver (14 April 1926 – 1 April 1989) was a Chilean professional football player. He played as a striker, and is most notable for his time spent with Newcastle United. He was the first non-British-registered foreign player to become top scorer in England.

Biography[edit]

Robledo was born in Iquique, Chile to a Chilean father and an English mother. He emigrated with his family to Brampton, Yorkshire in 1932, at the age of five, due to the instability in Chile at the time [1]. Robledo started his footballing career at Huddersfield Town, playing as a part-time amateur while he earned his money coal mining, though he never managed to break into the first team. He was able to give up the coal mining when he moved to Second Division Barnsley during World War II. First Division Newcastle United signed him on 27 January 1949 for a fee of £26,500. The fee included his brother Ted; Newcastle were only interested in buying George but he refused to move without his brother.

Robledo's league debut for Newcastle came in the 2–0 victory away to Charlton Athletic on 5 February, while his first league goal came a month later in the derby match against Sunderland at St James' Park. Newcastle came out of the match 2–1 winners, with Robledo's goal separating the sides, helping to quickly make him a fan favourite. The other Newcastle goal scorer was Jackie Milburn, marking the start of one of the great striking partnerships in Newcastle United's history. Robledo went on to score 5 more goals in the last 12 games of the season.

Chile recruited Robledo for the 1950 World Cup, even though he spoke no Spanish. He made his debut in the opening group game against England (one of his opponents reputedly warned him after he'd hit the post "steady, George, you're not playing for Newcastle now, you know"[2]) and scored in Chile's 5–2 victory over the USA.

The following season Robledo scored 11 goals for Newcastle, then netted 14 times in the 1950–51 season and became the first South American to play in the FA Cup final, when Newcastle beat Blackpool 2–0 to lift the Cup. Robledo finished as Division One's top scorer in the 1951–52 season with 33 goals, 39 in all competitions (equalling Hughie Gallacher's record). Robledo finished the season by scoring the goal which defeated Arsenal in the FA Cup final, helping Newcastle lift the cup in successive seasons.

In the 1952–53, season Robledo scored 18 times, taking his all time goals record for Newcastle to 91 and his league record to 82 (making him the highest scoring (non-Irish) overseas player in the English top flight, a record that was broken nearly half a century later by Dwight Yorke[3] [4]). At the end of the season Ted Robledo was sold to Colo-Colo and George soon followed him (Colo-Colo paying Newcastle United £25,000 for his services). Both brothers were highly popular in Chile, and George ended as top scorer in the Chilean league in 1953 and 54 (with 26 and 25 goals respectively)[5].

Robledo left Colo-Colo in 1958 and spent a year out of football before signing for Club Deportivo O'Higgins where he played out the final years of his career. Robledo married in 1959, and later had a daughter. He finally retired from football in 1961 and took charge of the sports program in St Peter's school, Viña del Mar, where he remained leading a quiet life until his death of an heart attack in April 1989, just before he would have turned 63. He was survived by his wife Gladys and daughter Elizabeth; Gladys, now in her eighties, is still living more than 20 years later.[1]

His brother Ted had died nearly 20 years earlier, having fallen from an oil tanker into the sea off Dubai in December 1970, aged only 42. His body has never been found.[2]

Honours[edit]

Team[edit]

Season Team Title
1951 England Newcastle FA Cup
1952 England Newcastle FA Cup
1953 Chile Colo Colo Chilean League
1956 Chile Colo Colo Chilean League

Individual awards[edit]

References[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Hutchinson, Roger (1997). The Toon: A Complete History of Newcastle United. Mainstream Publishing Ltd. (ISBN 1-85158-956-2). 

Online[edit]