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George in April 1970
|Full name||Charles Frederick George|
|Date of birth||10 October 1950|
|Place of birth||Islington, England|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Playing position||Forward, attacking midfielder|
|1977||→ St. George (loan)||6||(1)|
|1980||→ Nottingham Forest (loan)||2||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Charles Frederick "Charlie" George (born 10 October 1950) is an English former footballer. He played as a forward in the Football League (notably for Arsenal and Derby County) and he was also capped by England.
Born in Islington, London, George supported Arsenal as a boy and played for Islington Schoolboys before joining his favoured club in May 1966. He turned professional in 1968 and made his first-team debut for the club on 9 August 1969 against Everton, on the first day of the 1969–70 season; Arsenal lost 1–0. He became a regular in the side that season, playing 39 times, including in Arsenal's 1969–70 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup campaign; he scored goals against Dinamo Bacau and Ajax, as well as playing in both legs of the final against RSC Anderlecht, which Arsenal won 4–3 on aggregate.
George broke his ankle at the start of the following season following a collision with Everton goalkeeper Gordon West, but returned after being out for five months and played 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. The game was locked at 1–1 in extra time, Arsenal having been 1–0 down before Kelly's equaliser; 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. With that Cup win, Arsenal completed their first Double win.
George played four more seasons at Highbury, also playing in the 1972 FA Cup Final, which Arsenal lost to Leeds United. However, the latter stages of his career with Arsenal were hampered with 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.
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.
He spent three and a half years at Derby, where he memorably scored a hat-trick against Real Madrid in a European Cup match (although Derby eventually lost 5–6 on aggregate); he later scored a hat-trick for Derby in the UEFA Cup. Whilst with Derby, he won a solitary cap 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. He also had a loan spell at St George's Budapest in Australia.
After Derby, he went on to play for the Minnesota Kicks in the North American Soccer League, where he made 18 appearances (scoring 9 goals) in the 1978 season. George then returned to England with Southampton in December 1978. His appearances there were limited by a knee injury and he had a short period on loan to Nottingham Forest in 1980, playing four games including both legs of the 1979 UEFA Super Cup Final against FC Barcelona, scoring the only goal in the home leg as Forest won 2–1 on aggregate. George could not agree an extension to his loan at Forest and returned to Southampton, playing his last league game for them on 14 March 1981 against Stoke City. In the summer of 1981 he left the club to move to Bulova in Hong Kong.
A year later, in 1982, he returned to England to have short spells with Bournemouth and Derby County for a second time, and had a short time with Scottish side Dundee United before retiring in 1983, although he never played for the Tannadice outfit. In April 1980 George lost a finger in a lawnmower accident.
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 to conduct "Legends" tours, and as a match day host.
- Chris Bevan (4 May 2006). "End of an era". BBC. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
- Brian Viner (16 May 2005). "Charlie George: Highbury's local hero keeps the flame alive". The Independent. Retrieved 13 December 2010.
- NASL stats at nasljerseys.com
- Rothmans Football Yearbook 1981–82 http://www.biblio.com/isbn/9780362020465.html
- Rothman's Football Yearbook 1980–81
- "Big Time Charlie". Vital Arsenal. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
Even retirement offered him no peace as he lost a finger in a domestic accident involving his lawnmower!
- Viner, Brian (15 May 2005). "Charlie George: Highbury's local hero keeps the flame alive". The Independant. 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.
- 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.
- Arsenal career summary
- Charlie George biography, including some archive photos, on MirrorFootball.co.uk
- Arsenal.com-Gunners' Greatest Players: Charlie George
- Sunday Times article, Best & Worst: Charlie George
- BBC Sport Article: George on Highbury, "End of an era"
- Charlie George at sporting-heroes.net
- Daily Mail article-"Most energy efficient FA Cup goal celebration"
- Daily Mail article-The 50 finest footballers to have played for Tottenham or Arsenal