Wilcock George Image 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 1913

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Wilcock George Image 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 1913

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Description

Edinburgh born goalkeeper George Wilcock began his football career after he left the Army in 1909 having completed a three year commission with The Royal Field Artillery, signing initially with Bradford Park Avenue, where he didn’t make a first team appearance, before joining Second Division club Barnsley in January 1910, where he was understudy to John Clegg and Jack Cooper. He made his Football League debut at Derby County in October 1911 and played 4 matches in a three week period, his only appearances for The Tykes before he moved to Midland League club Goole Town in 1912, where he played a single season, signing for Southern League club Brighton & Hove Albion in the 1913 close season as understudy to Bob “PomPom” Whiting.

He made 11 appearances for The Seagulls but his career was interrupted by the onset of the First World War, which forced the suspension of peacetime football in May 1915. Following the outbreak of War, Wilcock rejoined The Royal Field Artillery and was seriously wounded at The Battle of Loos in September 1915. As a result of his injuries, he was invalided back to England, becoming a trainer with the Army. Once he returned to fitness, he represented the Army at football and was playing in a match against the Royal Navy at Plymouth which was being watched by directors of Southern League club Southampton.

He was signed by Southampton in readiness for the resumption of professional football in 1919 and made his debut at Bristol Rovers on 13th December 1919, replacing Arthur Wood, retaining his place in goal for the remainder of the season, making 20 appearances. He soon “proved to be a very able custodian” and The Saints were approached by several of the country’s top teams although Southampton were reluctant to release him, Wilcock was subsequently sold to First Division club Preston North End in May 1920.

At Deepdale Wilcock started the season in the first team but was dropped after a 6-0 defeat at Liverpool in his seventh match, thereafter he was used as cover for regular ‘keeper, Arthur Causer who retained the gloves for the rest of the season. Released, he had a spell with Southern League club Caerphilly in 1921, he played for Southampton Docks & Marine in 1922 before he retired altogether from football.

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