George Hilsdon

George Hilsdon

Football Biography
Football Biography Less

George Hilsdon

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George Richard Hilsdon (10 August 1885 - 10 September 1941) was a footballer who began his career at West Ham United, making his debut in the 1903-04 season. His brother Jack Hilsdon also played for West Ham at this time. He was nicknamed "Gatling Gun" because his shots "were simply unstoppable and which travel like shots from a gun."

In 1906 Hilsdon was recommended to then-Chelsea manager John Robertson, who had been advised that Hilsdon would be available for transfer; so enthralled was Robertson with Hilsdon's ability that he promised to turn him into Chelsea's next center forward. Hilsdon joined Chelsea later that year on £4 a week wages. He scored five goals on his debut in a 9-2 win over Glossop North End, and would later score six in an FA Cup tie with Worksop Town, a club record which remains unequaled. The club program described him as “living proof that to become a first-class footballer it is not necessary to be born north of the Tweed”.

Hilsdon scored 27 goals that season, which helped earn Chelsea promotion to the First Division in their second year of professional football. Within three years he had notched 76 goals in 99 appearances. His later days with Chelsea were hindered by problems with injuries and his personal life, including a battle with alcoholism, though he did score 19 goals in 1910-11. He became the first Chelsea player to score 100 goals, and ended his time there with 108 from 164 games. He is currently the club's 9th......
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