George Willis (footballer)

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George Willis
Personal information
Full name George Willis[1]
Date of birth (1926-11-09)9 November 1926[1]
Place of birth Stanley, County Durham, England[1]
Date of death 25 May 2011(2011-05-25) (aged 84)
Place of death Exeter, England
Playing position Inside forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1947–1949 Brighton & Hove Albion 28 (13)
1949–1956 Plymouth Argyle 56 (14)
1956–1957 Exeter City 26 (3)
Taunton Town
Falmouth Town
Total 110+ (30+)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

George Willis (9 November 1926 – 25 May 2011) was an English footballer who played as an inside forward for Brighton & Hove Albion, Plymouth Argyle, Exeter City, and Taunton Town. He won the Third Division South title with Plymouth in 1951–52.

Playing career[edit]

Willis guested for Port Vale and Crewe Alexandra in 1946.[1] In 1947 he moved on to Brighton & Hove Albion, who struggled at the foot of the Third Division South table in the 1947–48 campaign, before rising to sixth place in 1948–49. He scored 13 goals in 28 league games for Don Welsh's "Seagulls", before leaving the Goldstone Ground for Plymouth Argyle in 1949. Jimmy Rae's "Pilgrims" suffered relegation out of the Second Division in 1949–50. Argyle finished fourth in the Third Division South in 1950–51, before winning promotion as the division's champions in 1951–52. The Home Park club then came to within two places of promotion to the First Division in 1952–53, before dropping down to within two places of relegation in 1953–54. Plymouth finished just one place and three points above the drop zone in 1954–55, before suffering relegation in 1955–56 under the stewardship of Jack Rowley. Willis scored 14 goals in 59 league appearances for the club.[2] He joined Norman Dodgin's Exeter City in 1956, and spent the 1956–57 season at St James Park, before a spell in the Western League with Taunton Town. He also had a spell with Falmouth Town in the South Western League in the 1958–59 season, and was a South Western League Cup winner in his only season with the club.

Personal life[edit]

Willis had two children with June, his wife, called Roy and Lynda,[3] and two children from a previous marriage called Patricia and Tony. He was a grandfather to Kate and Emily.[3] His stepson was Lemmy Kilmister, lead singer and bassist of Motörhead.[4] Willis died on 25 May 2011, aged 84.[3]

Statistics[edit]

  • Sourced from George Willis profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
Club Season Division League FA Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Brighton & Hove Albion 1947–48 Third Division South 15 8 0 0 15 8
1948–49 Third Division South 13 5 0 0 13 5
Total 28 13 0 0 28 13
Plymouth Argyle 1949–50 Third Division South 1 0 0 0 1 0
1950–51 Third Division South 8 2 1 0 9 2
1951–52 Third Division South 2 0 0 0 2 0
1952–53 Second Division 10 2 1 0 11 2
1953–54 Second Division 7 2 0 0 7 2
1954–55 Second Division 14 4 1 0 15 4
1955–56 Second Division 14 4 0 0 14 4
Total 56 14 3 0 59 14
Exeter City 1955–56 Third Division South 13 2 0 0 13 2
1956–57 Third Division South 13 1 0 0 13 1
Total 26 3 0 0 26 3

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 312. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
  2. ^ "George Willis". GoS-DB. Greens on Screen. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Curno, Mike (25 May 2011). "George Willis 1926 - 2011". Plymouth Argyle. Retrieved 25 May 2011. [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Lemmy". BBC North West Wales. Retrieved 2009-11-02.