George played and scored in each of the Totty Cup Final, the Montagu Cup Final, the FA Cup Final and the World Cup Finals.
George is front centre of the photograph of the successful Brampton Ellis team of 1939. Their trophies included the English Schools Cup.
Born in Chile in 1926, he emigrated to with his family to South Yorkshire in 1932. They lived at 97 Barnsley Road, West Melton. After school he worked as a miner.
In 1944 George played in a Montagu Cup final for Wath Wanderers against Denaby United. The first match ended 3-3, with Wath winning the replay 2-1 – Robledo heading in the first goal of the replay.
In 1946 George signed for Barnsley. After 3 seasons and 45 goals for Barnsley, Newcastle United were only interested in signing George , but he refused to move without his brother, Ted.
At Newcastle, George became the first foreign player to be to score in England. He was the Alexis Sanchez of his day!
Chile recruited Robledo for their 1950 World Cup Finals, even though he spoke no Spanish. He played against England and scored in a 5-2 victory against USA.
He managed to score Newcastle’s winning goal at an the 1952 FA Cup Final against Arsenal. This moment was sketched by an 11 year old John Lennon, which then appeared on his 1974 album cover, Walls & Bridges.
Ted went back to Chile to play for Colo-Colo in 1953, and he was soon followed by George. He spent the rest of his days in Chile, retiring in 1961 and passing away in 1989.
Sadly, his brother died in mysterious circumstances in 1970, aged 42. He fell from an oil tanker into the sea off Dubai—his body has never been found.
George ’s daughter, Elizabeth, is a journalist in Sydney, Australia.
Firsts & Records
- George and Ted were the first South Americans to play professional football for a British team.
- George became the first overseas* player to become top scorer in England, scoring 39 goals from inside-forward (previous top-scorers had almost always played centre-forward)
- George held the record for most goals scored by an overseas* player in the top flight for almost 50 years.
- George was the first South American to play in the FA Cup final 1951
- George and Ted played in the FA Cup final in 1952 – the first time two foreign players had played in one team in a Cup final.
- John Lennon (aged 11) drew Robledo scoring the winning goal in the 1952 FA Cup final – this sketch was later used for Lennon’s album cover, “Walls and Bridges”.
- George played and scored in the 1950 World Cup finals for Chile. Ted joined George in the national team. Appearing together in the side beaten 1-0 by Argentina in the final of the 1955 South American Cup in front of 65,000 people in Santiago’s Estadio Nacional.
- In the early 50’s George introduced lightweight rubber football boots to his Newcastle team-mates, after returning from an international match.
- Locally, George played and scored in the Totty Cup final (1939) and Montagu Cup final (1944), before doing the same in the FA Cup final (1952) and World Cup finals (1950)
- At Brampton Ellis School in the 1938-9 season, George scored 56 goals on the way to helping the team win 5 trophies.
*overseas – non-British (excluding Ireland)
Linesman Blog: The Chilean with a Yorkshire Accent
Richard William’s piece in the Independent on the Robledo brothers.
Barnsley Chronicle. Mystery of John Lennon’s soccer sketch solved
FourFour Two magazine Before Alexis Sanchez
Paula Molina BBC) in Spanish: Chilean soccer player immortalised on a John Lennon Record
Wikipedia about George Wikipedia about Ted
Barnsley FC programme Remembering the famous Robledo brothers.
Blue Plaque Appeal
The Athletic : Newcastle’s greatest brothers
The Yorkshire Post: From Totty Cup to FA Cup
Barnsley Chronicle : Blue Plaque
Anglo-Chilean Society Blue Plaque Appeal ‘Blue Plaque’ for Chilean in English football
True Faith (NUFC fanzine): http://www.true-faith.co.uk/george-and-ted-robledo-the-blue-plaque-project/
True Faith podcast: http://www.true-faith.co.uk/a-memorial-to-george-and-ted-robledo/Dearne Valley Weekender: