A blue plaque is set to be unveiled on the former Newcastle home of two international footballing brothers from Chile who became record breakers in this country.
George and Ted Robledo, who were the first South Americans to play professional football in Britain, starred with Newcastle United in the early 1950s, with George a prolific goalscorer for the club, including a Wembley winner.
The unveiling of the plaque at their former home at 5, Ridgeway, Fenham, will be on May 3rd (1.30pm), the date being 70 years to the day since George scored the winner in the 1952 FA Cup Final for Newcastle against Arsenal – a goal immortalised by John Lennon.
When he was 11, Lennon drew a sketch of the goal from a photograph and later used it on the cover of his album, Walls and Bridges, in 1974.
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The brothers, who came to England as children from Chile in the early 1930s, were professional footballers at Barnsley FC, and moved together in 1949 to Newcastle United where George set a goalscoring record which stood for nearly 50 years and another which still stands today.
George’s daughter Elizabeth is flying over from Chile for the event which was postponed two years ago due to the pandemic and a diplomat from the Chilean Embassy in London will be at the unveiling.
Elizabeth will be a guest of Newcastle United at their home game with Liverpool on April 30th having previously been a guest of Barnsley at a home game two weeks earlier.
A blue plaque is also to be placed on the Robledo’s former home at Wath-on-Dearne in Rotherham, this unveiling taking place on April 14th on what would have been George’s 96th birthday.
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George and Ted were the first South Americans to play professional football in England.
George was the first overseas player to win the Golden Boot, awarded to the top scorer in English top-flight football. No overseas player has since matched his 33 League goals which he scored for Newcastle United in that 1951/52 season.
Overall that season, George finished with 39 League and Cup goals.
George’s total of 82 League goals for Newcastle United was an aggregate record for an overseas player in the top-flight and stood for 46 years from 1953 until 1999 when Dwight Yorke broke it (Sergio Aguero is the current holder).
George was the first South American to play in an FA Cup final, doing so in 1951 for Newcastle. A year later, both George and Ted were back at Wembley with Newcastle – the first time two overseas players had played in the same team in the FA Cup final.
George played and scored for Chile at the 1950 World Cup in Brazil and was the ONLY player among the 286 from 13 nations playing for a club outside his own country – he was at Newcastle United then.
Ted, who was a defensive wing half, joined George in the Chile national team and they both played in the side beaten 1-0 by Argentina in the final of the 1955 South American Championship in front of 65,000 in Santiago.
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In the early 1950’s George introduced lightweight football boots to his Newcastle teammates after returning from an international match.
George played and scored in the South Yorkshire Don and Dearne Schools Totty Cup final (1939) and the locally-prestigious Mexborough Montagu Cup final (1944), before doing the same at the World Cup finals (1950) and in the FA Cup Final (1952).
At Brampton Ellis School, Rotherham, in the 1938/9 season, George scored 56 goals on the way to helping the team win 5 trophies.
*overseas – non-British (excluding Ireland)