Dumbarton born centre half George “Geordie” Dewar served his apprenticeship as a ship’s upholsterer before embarking on a full-time career as a professional footballer.
A powerful centre half, he came to prominence in local football with Dumbarton Athletic from 1884 before joining Dumbarton in September 1887, winning his two Scotland caps in the two subsequent years. His first cap came in the British Home Championship match at The Solitude Ground, Belfast on 24th March 1888 where he scored the opening goal in the 10-2 rout of Ireland. He also played in the 3-2 victory over England at The Kennington Oval the following April.
One of the people watching the England v Scotland game in April 1889 was Tom Mitchell, the secretary of Blackburn Rovers. He was looking to strengthen his side by buying the best players from Scotland. Mitchell persuaded Dewar to join Rovers and in doing so, he brought an end to his international career as at this time Scotland did not select men playing in England. He made his Football League debut at Everton in February 1889 and Dewar became a fixture in the Blackburn team over the next few years, playing 197 times, scoring 10 goals.
He won successive FA Cups with Blackburn. In the FA Cup Final against Sheffield Wednesday (from the Football Alliance) at The Kennington Oval on 29th March 1890, Rovers were the odds-on favourites to win in view both of their record of three victories in the previous six seasons and their superior League placing. Blackburn fielded a team consisting of nine England or Scotland internationals. Rovers lived up to expectations as they romped away with the Cup defeating their Yorkshire opponents 6-1 with a Billy Townley hat trick and further goals from Nat Walton, Jack Southworth and Joe Lofthouse.
Blackburn reached the FA Cup Final again in 1891. On this occasion Notts County were their opponents. In the Final, played at The Kennington Oval on 21st March, Rovers put County under pressure from the beginning and in the 8th minute, Dewar scored from a Townley corner. Before the end of the first half, Southworth and Townley had added further goals. Jimmy Oswald of Notts County scored a late consolation goal but Blackburn finished comfortable 3-1 winners and won the FA Cup for the fifth time in eight years.
Dewar also played in Rovers’ 1893 and 1894 FA Cup semi final appearances, losing on both occasions, firstly to Wolverhampton Wanderers and then to eventual winners Notts County, who became the first Second Division team to win the FA Cup.
In June 1897, after 10 goals in 197 appearances for Rovers, he moved to New Brighton Tower and was part of the team that won the Lancashire League Championship. Although New Brighton Tower would now be playing in the Second Division of The Football League he decided to move on and joined Southern League champions Southampton in May 1898, who had just moved to their new home at The Dell. At Southampton he only made four appearances in November/December 1898 replacing the injured Bob Petrie. Now in his thirties and with his best days behind him he retired from football in 1899.
NB This image is from October 1895, probably the home game with Preston North End on October 12th which Blackburn won 3-0.