Fleming George Image 1 Liverpool 1905

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Description

Bannockburn, Stirlingshire born left half George Fleming began his football career with East Stirlingshire in 1890 from where he joined First Division club Wolverhampton Wanderers in the 1894 close season, making his Football League debut against Preston North End that September. Originally a forward, mainly playing at inside left, he converted to the half back line from April 1895, and although he didn’t play in Wolves’ 1896 FA Cup run that saw them reach the Final, he established himself as a first team regular from December that year, and was an ever present for three seasons from 1897-98 to 1899-1900, helping Wolves finish third in the League Championship in the former and fourth in the latter campaigns. He again was a regular for Wolves in 1900-01, missing only one match.

After 7 goals in 187 matches Wolves, Fleming signed for Liverpool in May 1901 and was five years at Liverpool when the club’s contrasting fortunes were quite dramatic. When Fleming made his debut for Liverpool, they were defending their first League Championship and yet would be relegated just three years later. Liverpool bounced straight back by winning the Second Division Championship and then the First Division title in successive seasons. Fleming played in a number of different positions, making him the utility player of his time, but he preferred the centre half position although mainly used at left half. The joint Everton/Liverpool programme in 1904 captured the essence of Fleming: “The old wolf. Never a star, but ever a worker. Can still do good service if called upon. Never gives up.”

Fleming had his best season in 1904-05 when after missing the opening five Second Division fixtures he played in the remaining 29 games. He started the 1905-06 title winning season in the first team but lost his place after three matches to newcomer James Bradley, and played just once more for The Reds against his old team Wolverhampton Wanderers in December 1905, having scored 6 goals in 83 appearances for Liverpool.

After losing his place Fleming, now well into his thirties, became assistant trainer at the club. He remained in the role until he was no longer able to work due to his sickness a year before his untimely death in 1922.

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