The legendary George Hardwick, England’s first post-war football captain, has died at the age of 84.
George Hardwick, England’s first post-war football captain, has died at the age of 84.
The debonair Middlesbrough defender was England’s left-back in all of the first 13 internationals after the last war.
And he captained the side in all them - a side that included great names like Stanley Matthews. Tom Finney and Billy Wright.
George was 26 when he made his debut in a 7-2 crushing of Northern Ireland in Belfast and England won ten, drew two and lost just one of his internationals. He was also capped in 12 war-time internationals and represented The Football League three times.
He joined First Division Middlesbrough from non-League South Bank in 1937 and featured in nearly 150 League matches for them either side of the war. He was later player/manager at Oldham Athletic, helping them up from the Third Division (North) to the Second.
He coached the US Army, Eindhoven FC in Holland and Middlesbrough - and managed Sunderland and Gateshead. Until recently he worked for Middlesbrough on the match-day hospitality side.
FA Chief Executive Mark Palios said: "George Hardwick was a great player from a great era. He was captain in every international that he played in and was a true legend who will be sadly missed, particularly on Teesside".
Middlesbrough's Youth Team will be wearing black armbands during The FA Youth Cup Final second leg tonight.
There will also be a minute's silence at Middlesbrough's Premier League game on Saturday.