George Wall

George Wall : Manchester United

George Wall was born in Bolden Colliery, near Sunderland, on 20th February 1885. A talented outside left he played local football for Boldon Royal Rovers, Whitburn and Jarrow.

In November 1903 Wall joined Barnsley. After he scored 24 goals in 75 games he was sold to Manchester United for £175 in April 1906. The manager, Ernest Mangnall, had made several shrewd purchases including Charlie Roberts, Charlie Sagar, and Alec Bell.

Manchester United started off the 1907-08 season with three straight wins. They were then beaten 2-1 by Middlesbrough. However, this was followed by another ten wins and United quickly built up a good advantage over the rest of the First Division. Although Liverpool beat them 7-4 on 25th March, 1908, Manchester United went on to win the title by nine points. Wall finished as second top scorer with 19 goals.

Ernest Mangnall had created an impressive team that was solid in defence and exciting in attack. The former Southampton player, Harry Moger, was a reliable goalkeeper who played in 38 league games that season. Dick Holden (26) or George Stacey (18) competed for the right-back position whereas Herbert Burgess (27) was the left-back. It has been argued that the half-back line of Dick Duckworth (35), Charlie Roberts (32) and Alec Bell (35) was the heart-beat of the side. Billy Meredith (37) and George Wall (36) were probably the best wingers playing in the Football League at the time and provided plenty of service for the inside trio of Sandy Turnbull (30), Jimmy Turnbull (26) and Jimmy Bannister (36).

On 18th March 1907, George Wall won his first international cap for England against Wales. The following year he played in England's 3-1 victory over Ireland.

Wall also won a FA Cup winners medal for Manchester United in April 1909. He also played in three games for England that year. This included him scoring two goals in the victory over Scotland.

In the The United Alphabet Garth Dykes describes Wall as "very fast, tricky, and had a wonderful knack of cutting inside and shooting when least expected... he was also a superbly accurate crosser of the ball".

In June 1910 Ernest Mangnal purchased Enoch West from Nottingham Forest. He replaced Jimmy Turnbull in the attack and had a great season scoring 19 goals in 35 games. West formed a great partnership with Sandy Turnbull and together they scored more than half of the team's goals. On the last Saturday of the season Aston Villa led Manchester United by one point. United had to play third-place Sunderland at Old Trafford whereas Aston Villa had to go to Liverpool.

Manchester United won their game 5-1. Charlie Roberts told the Manchester Saturday Post what happened next: "At the end of the game our supporters rushed across the ground in front of the stand to wait for the final news from Liverpool. Suddenly a tremendous cheer rent the air and was renewed again and again and we knew we were the champions once again." Aston Villa had been beaten 3-1 and Wall and his Manchester United had won their second championship in four years.

During the First World War George Wall served in the Black Watch Regiment. After the war he was sold to Oldham Athletic for £200. While at Manchester United he had scored 89 goals in 287 league games.

Wall also played for Rochdale in the 1922-23 season. While working in the docks he played for the Manchester Ship Canal team.

George Wall died in Manchester in 1962.

© , September 1997 - April 2014