George Douglas

Leicester City In 100 Players: George Douglas

In this new heritage series, Club Historian John Hutchinson reviews the careers of 100 of the most outstanding players to represent Leicester Fosse and Leicester City in the Club’s 137-year history.

Outside-right George Douglas, who scored the first-ever goal for the newly-named Leicester City in August 1919, was born in Forest Gate in 1893. 

In 1906, he captained West Ham Boys in the 1906 English Schools Final against Sunderland. The fragile teamsheet for this match is in the Leicester City archives. He also played for England Schoolboys against Scotland. 

He joined Leicester Fosse in May 1912 as an amateur, having played for Ilford. In his first season at Leicester he won two England amateur international caps against Germany and Holland. One of his England shirt crests is on display at King Power Stadium. 

His first professional contract for Leicester Fosse, worth £4 per-week, ran from 1913 until 1916 but it was cancelled in April 1915 due to the First World War. 

George’s war records indicate that, the day before playing in Leicester Fosse’s last-ever league game in April 1915, he joined the Leicestershire Royal Horse Artillery. A year later he transferred to the Royal Field Artillery and went to the Western Front.

He was hospitalised in 1917 after being thrown from a mule.

In 1919, he was selected for the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) football team to compete in the ‘Inter-Theatre of War Championship’. He also played for the BEF against Leicester Fosse shortly before the Club was reconstructed as Leicester City in the summer of 1919. 

After a delayed demobilisation, George scored the first-ever goal for the newly-named Leicester City in August 1919, against Wolverhampton Wanderers. 

The Club’s archives include a photograph of George being presented to King George V before an FA Cup tie at Chelsea in February 1920. The archive also contains George’s final Leicester City contract, worth £8.50 a week. He was awarded a benefit match against Birmingham City in September 1920.

A souvenir metal matchbox cover produced for this benefit is on display in reception at the stadium. In February 1921, after playing over 130 league and cup games for the Filbert Street club, George transferred to that season’s league champions, Burnley.

The Club’s archives contain contracts and testimonials which indicate that George later played for Oldham Athletic and Bristol Rovers, and that he was player-coach at both Tunbridge Wells Rangers and Dover. 

After running a sports shop in Tunbridge Wells for 32 years, George then worked as a water bailiff on the River Medway for 10 years. He died in 1979, aged 85. 

With thanks to Andrew and Steve Douglas. 

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