Marks George Image 2 Arsenal 1940

Marks George Image 2 Arsenal 1940

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Description

Amesbury, Wiltshire born goalkeeper George Marks played for Salisbury Corinthians before joining Arsenal as an amateur in March 1936 turning professional 2 months later. He was loaned to nursery club Margate in 1937 and subsequently returned to Highbury making his Football League debut at Derby County in April 1939, playing twice before the season’s end and all three games of the abandoned start to the 1939-40 season before peacetime football was suspended due to the outbreak of the Second World War. His second and final League appearance in goal for Arsenal was memorable, as it was their 2-0 win over Brentford at Highbury, a match recorded on film for the movie The Arsenal Stadium Mystery.

Marks served in the Royal Air Force in Northern Ireland, but still found time to play 129 wartime matches for Arsenal and won one Football League War Cup and two Football League South medals, as well as eight wartime caps for England. Once War was over and football resumed, Marks was deemed too old for Arsenal and sold for £5,000 in August 1946 to Blackburn Rovers – at the time a record fee for a goalkeeper. Despite spending ten years with the club, thanks to the War Marks had only two official League appearances to his name.

He spent two seasons with Rovers making 74 appearances, his career there punctuated by a period out with a jaw injury. He moved to Bristol City in August 1948, but stayed only two months, making 9 appearances, before signing for Reading at the start of October. There he spent five years at Elm Park making 126 appearances for The Royals before retiring as a player. He went on to be a coach with Reading for two years before quitting the professional game entirely in 1955, subequently turning out for amateur club Bulford United.

NB in the photograph he punches clear from Queen’s Park Rangers forward Reg Swinfen, almost certainly during a wartime league fixture.

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