Forfar, Angus born inside right George McLean began his football career with Yoker Athletic and joined hometown club Forfar Athletic in 1920, from where he was signed by Second Division Bradford Park Avenue in June 1921, making his Football League debut at Rotherham County in October 1921, scoring once in only 7 appearances as Avenue suffered relegation to the Third Division. The following season McLean became a first team regular and top scored for Bradford with 21 goals during the campaign, a total which included hat-tricks against Tranmere Rovers and Accrington Stanley as Bradford narrowly missed out on promotion at the first attempt, finishing runners up in the Third Division (North). They again finished runners up in 1925-26 and McLean’s 17 goals in 1926-27 included a hat-trick against Southport as they finished in third place.
McLean then second top scored with 23 goals in their 1927-28 campaign, which finally saw them win the Third Division (North) Championship and gain promotion, his total including a hat-trick against Wigan Borough on the run in. The following season he scored 29 goals as Bradford narrowly missed out on back to back promotions finishing in third place, and he again top scored for Bradford in 1929-30 with 21 goals as they again went close to promotion finishing fourth.
McLean then scored two hat-tricks against Plymouth Argyle and Bristol City in early November 1930 and this was enough to persuade First Division Huddersfield Town to sign his the same month after 139 goals in 265 appearances for Park Avenue, McLean scored 4 goals in a 10-1 rout of Blackpool in his fourth match for The Terriers, and was a near ever present in their 1932-33 campaign missing only one match, but he sustained a broken leg against Manchester City at the end of March 1934 as Huddersfield finished second in the League Championship, which finished his top flight career, with Huddersfield signing Alf Lythgoe to replace him. He re-joined Forfar Athletic in 1935 after 47 goals in 131 appearances for Huddersfield Town and played for Forfar until his retirement in 1939, scoring 29 goals in 102 matches for them.