Blackhall, County Durham born right half George Neilson began his football career with Blackhall Wesleyans in the mid-1920’s and played for Horden Athletic and Thornley Albion in 1926, as well as for Blackhall Colliery Welfare before joining hom he made Third Division (North) club Durham City on amateur forms in September 1927, for whom he made his Football League debut against New Brighton in December the same year, playing twice more for them before the end of the season. He then signed professional for South Shields in June 1928, but didn’t get to make his debut for them until August 1929.
Once Neilson had got into the first team, he didn’t let slip and although at the end of his breakthrough season South Shields moved to Gateshead and changed their name, Neilson enjoyed ten seasons with The Head, being an ever present in 1930-31 and missing only two matches during the 1931-32 campaign as Gateshead finished runners up in the Third Division (North), narrowly missing out on promotion. In 1937-38 he helped them finish in fifth place although this was their highest placing besides the near promotion. He scored 16 goals in 337 appearances for The Head, playing his final match in May 1939, his career effectively finished by the outbreak of the Second World War that September.
NB the photograph was taken before the League match between Walsall and Gateshead at Fellows Park on 15th October 1932. Walsall won the match 2-0.