George Smith (footballer, born 1919)

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George Smith
Personal information
Full name George Clarence Bassett Smith
Date of birth (1919-03-24)24 March 1919
Place of birth Portsmouth, England
Date of death 21 December 2001(2001-12-21) (aged 82)
Place of death Albury, New South Wales, Australia
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Playing position Half back
Youth career
1936–1937 Huddersfield Town
1937–1938 Southampton
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1938–1950 Southampton 95 (1)
1950–1951 Crystal Palace 7 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

George Clarence Bassett Smith (24 March 1919 – 21 December 2001) was an English footballer who played most of his professional career for Southampton in the period either side of World War II.

Football career[edit]

Although he was born in Portsmouth and christened George Clarence Bassett, he was brought up in Guernsey by adoptive parents, who gave him the surname Smith. He played junior football in the Channel Islands for Guernsey Schools and Guernsey Rangers.[1]

After a brief spell as an amateur with Huddersfield Town he joined Southampton as an amateur in October 1937, signing as a professional in July 1938. His tenacious displays for the reserves earned him the nickname "Guernsey Terrier" from his team-mates.[1] His hard-working style of play eventually earned him a place in the first team and he made his debut on 4 February 1939 (away to West Bromwich Albion), replacing the injured Frank Hill. He had a run of nine appearances before Hill returned.[2] His career was then interrupted by the suspension of football following the outbreak of World War II.

During the war he saw active service with the R.A.F. as a rear gunner and then as an instructor, before returning to The Dell after he was de-mobbed.[1]

He then enjoyed a couple of seasons as a regular, either at right-half or left-half, before losing his place in October 1948 to the young Len Wilkins.[3] He never made another first-team appearance and was released at the end of the 1948-49 season.

He joined Crystal Palace in May 1950 where he played only seven games. He then retired from professional football and played non-league football for Dartford and King's Lynn, before joining the latter club as a coach in 1955.[1] He later coached Braintree Town FC, Essex, commuting from his home at Hunstanton, Norfolk.

Later career[edit]

In 1958, he and his family emigrated to Australia where he settled in Albury, New South Wales, finding employment as an ambulance driver and then working for a gas company, while helping to establish the Albury, Wodonga and Lavington Soccer Association.[1]

He was also a trainer and physiotherapist with Albury Football Club (Australian Rules).[1]

He died in December 2001, aged 82.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Duncan Holley & Gary Chalk (1992). The Alphabet of the Saints. ACL & Polar Publishing. p. 314. ISBN 0-9514862-3-3. 
  2. ^ Chalk, Gary; Holley, Duncan (1987). Saints – A complete record. Breedon Books. pp. 100–101. ISBN 0-907969-22-4. 
  3. ^ Saints – A complete record. pp. 114–115.