Kilbirnie, Ayrshire born inside forward George Stevenson joined Scottish League Motherwell from Kilbirnie Ladeside in May 1923 making his League debut in a 2-1 defeat at Third Lanark in December 1923. He was said to have “few equals in the art of eluding the defence” and to be the “arch schemer and mastermind behind Motherwell’s attack”, also described as “the most artistic inside forward in Scotland and essentially a stylist… dribbles with masterly skill and deceives the opposition with his body swerve peculiar to all great players”. He won a League Championship medal with Motherwell in 1931-32 and finished four times as Championship runners up in 1927, 1930, 1933 and 1934 at a time when The ‘Well were the major opponent to the Rangers-Celtic hegemony. They also finished in third place in 1928, 1929 and 1931, and were Scottish Cup runners up in 1931, 1933 and 1939, Stevenson playing in all 3 games, ending with two defeats to Celtic and defeat to Clyde in 1939.
Stevenson won 12 caps, scoring 4 times for Scotland between October 1927, when he made his debut in a 2-2 draw against Wales at Wrexham, and October 1934, and also represented The Scottish League 10 times between March 1927 and February 1934, scoring twice.
He played for Motherwell until the Second World War, making 573 appearances, of which 511 were in the Scottish League, scoring 170 goals for the club. Stevenson took over the manager’s position from John ‘Sailor’ Hunter after the Second World War. In 1950 in his fifth year, Motherwell won the newly formed League Cup beating Hibernian 3-0 with goals from Forrest, Kelly and Watters. He took Motherwell to another Scottish Cup Final in 1951, losing again 1-0 to Celtic. In 1952, under the leadership of George, Motherwell finally won the Scottish Cup for the first time in the club’s history, beating Dundee 4-0 with goals from Watson, Redpath, Humphries and Kelly.
In 1953, the Steelmen were relegated to the ‘B’ Division but they made a swift return, scoring an incredible 109 goals on the way. Their stay back in the top-flight should have been a short one as they finished second bottom the following year, only to be saved by a League reconstruction. Stevenson then resigned from his post as manager in 1955, believing he had taken the team as far as he could, leaving after 32 years with the club.
Along with “Sailor” Hunter and Bobby Ferrier he is still considered one of the all time Motherwell greats, and he is the most “decorated” Steelman n Motherwell’s history.
His father played for Sunderland in the 1889-90 season before they joined The Football League, and his brother John played professional football for several English (Bury, Bristol Rovers, Carlisle, Chester, and Nelson) and Scottish (Ayr United, Aberdeen, Beith, Motherwell, Falkirk and St Johnstone) clubs.
NB in the cartoon he is depicted with Blackpool’s Jimmy Hampson and Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Cyril Spiers.