Charlie George

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Charlie George
Charlie George (1970).png
George in April 1970
Personal information
Full name Charles Frederick George
Date of birth (1950-10-10) 10 October 1950 (age 69)
Place of birth Islington, England
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Forward, attacking midfielder
Youth career
1966–1968 Arsenal
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1968–1975 Arsenal 133 (31)
1975–1978 Derby County 106 (34)
1977St George (loan) 6 (1)
1978 Minnesota Kicks 18 (9)
1978–1981 Southampton 44 (11)
1980Nottingham Forest (loan) 2 (0)
1981–1982 Bulova 7 (0)
1982 Bournemouth 2 (0)
1982 Derby County 11 (2)
1982 Bulova ? (?)
1982 Dundee United 0 (0)
1983 Coventry City 0 (0)
Total 322 (88)
National team
1976 England 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Charles Frederick George (born 10 October 1950) is an English former professional footballer who played as a forward.[1]

George began his career as a youngster with Arsenal and was part of their 1970–71 League and FA Cup Double-winning team, scoring the winning goal in the FA Cup Final. In 1975, he left Arsenal to join up with Derby County. After playing for US club Minnesota Kicks, in 1978 George joined Southampton, where he spent another three seasons. Whilst there he had a brief spell on loan with Nottingham Forest with whom he won the 1979 European Super Cup. He then had a spell with Hong Kong side Bulova before he returned to England for short stints with A.F.C. Bournemouth and Derby County. George was capped once for the England national team.[1]

Club career[edit]


Born in Islington, London, George attended the local Grafton, Holloway Road and Hugh Myddleton Schools.[2] George supported Arsenal as a boy[3] and played for Islington Schoolboys before joining Arsenal in May 1966.

He turned professional in 1968 and made his first-team debut on 9 August 1969 against Everton, on the first day of the 1969–70 season; Arsenal lost the match 1–0. George became a regular in the side that season making a total of 39 appearances. He was particularly prolific in Arsenal's 1969–70 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup campaign, including against Dinamo Bacau and Ajax. He played in both legs of the final against RSC Anderlecht, which Arsenal won 4–3 on aggregate.[4][5]

George broke his ankle at the start of the following season in a collision with Everton goalkeeper Gordon West. After being out for five months he returned to play a significant part in Arsenal's run-in to the 1970–71 Division One title, scoring five times in 17 appearances in the League. However, the highlight of his season came in the FA Cup; he scored in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds as well as proving the difference in the final against Liverpool. With the score at 1–1 in extra time, in the 111th minute George latched onto John Radford's square ball and scored a spectacular winner from 20 yards to win the match. He celebrated by lying flat on his back with arms aloft.[3][6] With that Cup win, Arsenal completed their first Double win.[4][5]

George was prolific in the Gunners' FA Cup run in the 1971–72 season, scoring the equalizing goal in the Cup semi-final against Stoke City which Arsenal won by a 2–1 margin at Goodison Park.[7] In the Cup Final at Wembley, Arsenal lost to Leeds United.[8]

The latter stages of George's career with Arsenal were hampered by injuries and a rebellious streak at odds with the club's management; during the 1971–72 season he was disciplined by the club twice, first after headbutting Liverpool's Kevin Keegan, and then for flicking a V-sign at Derby County's fans after scoring away at the Baseball Ground.[4][5]

As the Double-winning side were gradually broken up, Arsenal began to descend down the table, and although George hit eleven goals in both 1971–72 and 1972–73 his form declined alongside Arsenal's; he only scored five times in 28 matches in 1973–74 and he was dropped from the first team in 1974–75 after falling out with manager Bertie Mee. By Christmas 1974, he had been transfer-listed, and he moved to Derby County in July 1975 for £100,000. In total he played 179 times for Arsenal and scored 49 goals.[4][5] George was ranked at No. 9 in a feature of Arsenal's greatest 50 players of all time.[4]

Derby County[edit]

George played his first game for Derby County in the Charity Shield of 1975 which they won by a 2-0 margin over West Ham.[9] He spent three and a half years at Derby, where he memorably scored a hat-trick against Real Madrid in a European Cup first leg of October 1975.[10][11] Derby eventually lost the cup tie by a margin of 5–6 on aggregate in all.[10] He later scored a hat-trick for Derby against Finn Harps in the first leg of a UEFA Cup tie in September 1976. Derby eventually altogether scored 12 goals in this match of European competition, becoming the first British club to ever do so.[12][13] He also had a loan spell at St George's Budapest in Australia from Derby. George, whose exploits with the Rams earned him the chant, "Charlie, Charlie, the King of Derby", remains a legendary and beloved figure among many of the fans of Derby County.[13]

Later career[edit]

After Derby, he went on to play for the Minnesota Kicks in the North American Soccer League. At the Kicks, George scored what was an NASL record for the fastest playoff goal in a 9–2 thumping of the New York Cosmos. In all he made 18 appearances while scoring 9 goals in the 1978 season for the club.[14][15] George then returned to England with Southampton in December 1978. He then had a short period on loan to Nottingham Forest in January 1980, where he played four games. One of these included the final of the 1979 UEFA Super Cup against FC Barcelona, where he scored the only goal in the home leg as Forest won 2–1 on aggregate.[16] George could not agree an extension to his loan at Forest and later returned to Southampton, playing his last league game for them on 14 March 1981 against Stoke City.[17] In the summer of 1981 he left the club to move to Bulova in Hong Kong. He made a total of 52 appearances for Southampton in which he scored 14 goals.[18]

A year later, in 1982, he returned to England to have a short time at A.F.C. Bournemouth and subsequently rejoined Derby County for a second spell. He also had a brief spell later with Scottish side Dundee United. He then linked up with Coventry City on a short-term contract prior to the 1983–84 season, but made no competitive appearances and retired soon after.[19]

In April 1980, George lost a finger in a lawnmower accident.[20][21]

After football[edit]

After retiring from football he moved to New Milton, Hampshire to run a pub. He later had joint ownership for some years in a garage business. George is now employed by Arsenal in roles within corporate hospitality at the club.[8][22]

International career[edit]

George was capped five times for England at under-23 level.[23] Whilst with Derby, he also won a solitary cap at senior level for England, playing for 60 minutes against the Republic of Ireland on 8 September 1976, out of position on the left wing, but fell out with coach Don Revie after being substituted and he was never picked again.[8]

Personal life[edit]

At the age of 19, George married Susan Farge and with her he has a daughter, Kaana.[24][25][8]

George was mentioned by musical act Steven North and the Flat Back Four in their songs entitled "The Charlie George Calypso" and "I Wish I Could Play Like Charlie George" respectively.[26][21][27]



Derby County[9]
Nottingham Forest



  1. ^ a b "Charlie George".
  2. ^ "Charlie George". England Football
  3. ^ a b Chris Bevan (4 May 2006). "End of an era". BBC. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e The Arsenal Football Club plc. (8 June 2016). "Greatest 50 Players - 9. Charlie George". Archived from the original on 2 May 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Carter, Jon (19 November 2011). "Charlie George an Arsenal hero". Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  6. ^ "Top 50 FA Cup goals: George in extra time". 29 October 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  7. ^ "How Arsenal denied Stoke City FA Cup glory in the 70s".
  8. ^ a b c d Brian Viner (16 May 2005). "Charlie George: Highbury's local hero keeps the flame alive". The Independent. Retrieved 13 December 2010.
  9. ^ a b "Charity shield match at Wembley Stadium. Derby County 2 v West Ham United 0".
  10. ^ a b Nicholson, Steve (22 October 2015). "Steve Nicholson on Derby County: Charlie George 's memories of victory over Real Madrid". Retrieved 23 April 2017.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "40 YEARS ON: Charlie George Looks Back At Real Madrid Win". Derby County F.C.
  12. ^ Sport360 staff (15 September 2016). "On this day in 1976: Derby score 12 in UEFA Cup tie". Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Rams in Focus: Charlie George".
  14. ^ "Aug. 14, 1978: Kicks crush Cosmos 9-2". Star
  15. ^ "Charlie George NASL stats". NASL
  16. ^ a b Kelly, Matt (22 February 2008). "Charlie George from the North Bank to the first Arsenal double". Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  17. ^ "Rothmans Football Yearbook 1981–82".
  18. ^ "Charlie George".
  19. ^ Brown, Jim (20 October 2006). "Charlie George's brief Highfield Road career". Coventry Telegraph. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  20. ^ Rothman's Football Yearbook 1980–81
  21. ^ a b Viner, Brian (15 May 2005). "Charlie George: Highbury's local hero keeps the flame alive". The Independent. Retrieved 18 May 2016. There's also a finger missing on his right hand to compound the inescapable feeling that this is a man with a past that is both colourful and murky. "Caught it in a lawnmower, years ago," he explains, cheerfully.
  22. ^ "There were so many hard men but Dave was the only one to rattle me". Derby 16 March 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2017.[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ "Charlie George". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  24. ^ "Arsenal v Liverpool: Gunners legend Charlie George recalls 1971 FA Cup final - and that goal celebration".
  25. ^ "'I sometimes wonder how long I've got'". The
  26. ^ Arsenal (21 January 2009). ""Ooh That Charlie George, Eh ?"". Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  27. ^ Winter, Henry (15 February 2014). "Arsenal v Liverpool: Gunners legend Charlie George recalls 1971 FA Cup final - and that goal celebration". Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  28. ^ Burton Mail (2 May 2015). "Will Hughes is Derby County player of the year". Archived from the original on 3 June 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  • Harris, Jeff (1995). Hogg, Tony (ed.). Arsenal Who's Who. Independent UK Sports. ISBN 1-899429-03-4.
  • Spurling, Jon (2004). Rebels for the Cause: The Alternative History of Arsenal Football Club. Mainstream. pp. 96–117. ISBN 978-1-84018-900-1.

External links[edit]