Beel George Image 2 Burnley 1924

Beel George Image 2 Burnley 1924


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Bracebridge Heath, near Lincoln, born centre forward George Beel started his football career during World War One playing for Blackpool, where he was stationed, as a wartime guest in 1918. He was noted by Manchester United, who took him on a month’s trial in September 1919, but he was rejected. It was on his return to his home that his local side, Second Division Lincoln City, signed him in October 1919, with his Football League debut at Barnsley coming the same month, Beel scoring in a 5-3 defeat, and in his first season, 1919-20, Beel scored six goals in 24 appearances.

In May 1920 Merthyr Town signed him and he responded by scoring 22 goals in 57 appearances over the next two seasons, including a hat-trick against Millwall in September 1921. That was enough to get him noticed by Chesterfield, whom he joined in May 1922, and he scored 27 goals in 39 appearances during 1922-23 finishing as Chesterfield’s leading marksman. In the summer of 1923, many clubs attempted to sign Beel, but it was Burnley that were the successful bidding club. So started nine years at Turf Moor, in which Beel scored a club record 188 goals in 337 appearances. In his 7th game against West Ham he netted his first hat-trick, a feat he repeated 10 times through to his final treble against Wolves in February 1931

He was a member of their 1924 FA Cup semi final team losing to Aston Villa at Bramall Lane. In October 1928, after having scored 35 League goals in 1927-28 for Burnley and in a season in which he would score another 32 goals, he was the non playing reserve as England beat Ireland at Goodison Park, but despite his prolific strike rate he never got back into the England team.

In 1932 Beel then returned to Lincoln City and scored six goals in nine League appearances scoring in each of his first 4 matches as Lincoln won the Third Division (North) Championship. He joined Rochdale in September 1932 making another 21 appearances and scoring 8 goals. Beel retired from League football and became player-manager at Tunbridge Wells Rangers in 1935, subsequently playing for Maidstone United in 1936.

He is regarded as the best centre forward in Burnley’s history and still holds their records for the highest number of goals in a season and the highest number of League goals.

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