Left half George Blackburn was born in Willesden Green and played for Willesden Juniors, and in Army football during the First World War, and then Hampstead Town in 1919 before joining First Division club Aston Villa in December 1920 making his Football League debut at Bradford City in March 1921. At Villa he played 145 games, scoring twice, including their 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United in the 1924 FA Cup Final, and won an England cap in May 1924 against France in Paris (he also represented both the London FA and Middlesex FA), but had to undergo knee surgery before he moved on to Cardiff City in June 1926 in exchange for Joe Nicholson.
He scored one more goal in 119 appearances but didn’t play in the 1927 FA Cup Final, but did win the Welsh Cup with Cardiff in 1927 and 1930. It was said of him in 1930: “Sure in his tackling, Blackburn goes to meet the oncoming forward, and when beaten he is quick in his recovery”. He joined Third Division (North) club Mansfield Town for £250 in June 1931 and was made club captain, making 14 appearances during his single season at Field Mill. He then joined non league Cheltenham Town as a player-coach and club captain in July 1932 and retired in June 1934. He became coach of Moor Green in August 1934 and joined Birmingham as their trainer in July 1937, staying with the club until 1948.