GEORGE HILSDON

George Hilsdon

George Hilsdon was the first of the nine players to score a century of goals for Chelsea. He was signed as an inside-forward from West Ham United in 1906 but manager John Tait Robertson was certain that Hilsdon had the potential to play as a centre-forward. He was right.

George made a spectacular start to his Chelsea career, scoring five times on his debut, a 9-2 win over Glossop North End. It was a performance that earned him the nickname 'Gatling Gun.' In his first season he scored 27 goals and helped the club to our first ever promotion.

George was almost as prolific the next season, netting 26 league goals and adding six in one game, an FA Cup win over Worksop Town. Six goals in a game by one player remains a club record. After three years he had scored 86 goals in 106 appearances. By now he was an England international and scored 14 times in his eight internationals including eight on England's first ever overseas tour.

After that though, George's Chelsea career was blighted by injuries and alcoholism although his final total of 108 goals ranks him ninth in the club's all-time list. Three years later in 1912 he was allowed to rejoin West Ham United where his career was ended by the outbreak of World War One.

Hilsdon is immortalised at Stamford Bridge by the weather vane which is a feature at the ground.


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