World Cup Legends: Chile and George Robledo

by Back Page Football

george robledoGeorge Robledo – The Chilean with the Yorkshire accent.

Robeldo was born in Iquique a Port City in the North of Chile in 1926 to a Chilean father and English mother. Chile was in the midst of political insecurity following a military coup in 1924 and in Iquique the Santa Maria de Iquique Massacre would have been still remembered. Aged 5, George’s mother Elsie Oliver took George and his two brothers back to her roots in South Yorkshire. Leaving school, Robledo began work in the coal mines and joined Huddersfield Town on amateur terms. In 1946 he joined Barnsley in a move which was to change his life. Signing professional terms got him out the mines. More importantly Barnsley would showcase a talent that would lead to greater things.

Robledo was said to be a typical inside forward of the time – strong, good in the air and with a powerful shot. In his debut for The Tykes he scored a hat trick in a 3-2victory over Nottingham Forest. Over the next two and a half seasons he would go on to score 45 goals in 105 appearances. His final season tally of 13 goals attracted the interest of bigger clubs and in 1949 George moved to Newcastle United [on the condition they signed his younger brother Ted as well].

Robledo scored 11 goals in his first season but it was partnership with the legendary Jackie Milburn that really made people sit up and take notice including his home country who called up George into the Chile squad for the 1950 World Cup finals in Brazil. He played in all three group games that summer as centre forward and whilst La Roja were already out by their final match, Robledo scored Chile’s first goal of the finals in a 5-2 win over the USA.

Back at Newcastle, The Magpies reached the 1951 FA Cup Final – Robledo the first South American to play in the showpiece – setting up Jackie Milburn for the only goal in victory over Blackpool. They were back the next year with both Gorge and Ted appearing, George heading home to take victory over Arsenal. George had been top score in the league that season with 33 goals. The 1952-53 season saw Robledo score another 18 goals, in the process earning a move back to Chile and Colo Colo [again with brother Ted]. The goals flowed; top scorer in his first two seasons [26 and 25 goals respectively] helping Los Albos to the title in 1953.

George stayed at Colo Colo until 1958, winning the Chilean Cup that year [as well as claiming another league title in 1956]. He went onto represent La Roja 31 times his final games being his second South American Championship in 1957.

After a period away from the game he signed for Club Deportivo O’Higgins where he played for two years before hanging up his boots at the age of 34.

From Yorkshire to Chile via Newcastle, George Robledo is remembered in all.

GREATEST SQUAD – STARTING XI [4-4-1-1]

ADOLFO NEF

LUIS EYZAGUIRRE                ELÍAS FIGUEROA        ALBERTO QUINTANO        ISAAC CARRASCO

ENRIQUE HORMAZÁBAL       RUBÉN MARCOS              GUILLERMO PÁEZ       LEONEL SÁNCHEZ

FRANCISCO VALDÉS

CARLOS CASZELY

GREATEST SQUAD – RESERVES

GK: CLAUDIO BRAVO
GK: ROBERTO ROJAS
RB: MARIO GALINDO
LB: ANTONIO ARIAS
CB: IGNACIO PRIETO
CB: HUMBERTO CRUZ
CM: CARLOS REINOSO
CAM: JORGE ARAVENA
CAM: ALBERTO FOUILLOUX
CF: JAIME RAMÍREZ
ST: GEORGE ROBLEDO
ST: IVÁN ZAMORANO

Group A: Theophile Abega | Toto Carbajal | Josip Skoblar | Toninho

Alan Robins

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