Highbury Legends

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Highbury Legends

Postby Libertine » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:41 pm

Charlie George

Charlie, Charlie
Charlie, Charlie
Born is the King of Highbury


The first King of Highbury was a striker of amazing talent. Fantastic first touch, a rocket shot in both feet and he could also look after himself. Even better than that though, he was one of us.
Born in Hollway, Charlie George was a proper local lad who literally stepped off the Highbury terraces and onto the pitch.

Charlie, with his skinhead haircut and cocky swagger, burst onto the scene in the 1969/70 season. Goals against Dinamo Bacau and Ajax on the way to Arsenal winning the Fairs Cup elevated him to immediate superstar status at Highbury. Indeed his brace against Ajax caused Johann Cruyff to comment on what an excellent player he was. High praise indeed!
Charlie scored against Everton on the opening day of the 1970/71 season but, in doing so, he broke his foot and didn't return to the starting line-up until February.

Sporting a new long haired he look, he returned with a goal. This time against Pompey in a 3-2 win in an FA Cup 4th round replay. He followed this up with both Arsenal goals away at Man City in the 5th round and the winner against Leicester in the 6th round. Charlie seemed to have developed a habit of scoring winners in FA Cup ties.
Although Charlie only scored 5 goals during our league campaign that season they always seemed to be when we needed them most. The winner against Newcastle at Highbury, with time running out and only 4 games left, was probably the most important of these.
With the league title in the bag it was onto Wembley and the FA Cup final against Liverpool. On a boiling hot day, the game was level at 1-1 with 5 minutes of extra time left. Cue Charlie George. A neat interchange of passes with John Radford and Charlie exploded a 20 yard shot past Ray Clemence and Arsenal had won the double. His celebration of that goal is still an iconic Arsenal image, Charlie lying flat out on the pitch with his arms outstretched before being lifted up by his team-mates.

Unfortunately, that was as good as it got at Highbury for Charlie. Despite being adored by the Highbury faithful, his relationship with Arsenal manager Bertie Mee was anything but cordial. Mee always felt Charlie wasn't disciplined enough and should work harder. Charlie didn't agree. Pele and Cruyff weren't asked to track-back so neither, he reasoned, should he.
Don Howe had always been the mediator between the two but once he left to manage WBA, an already bad relationship deteriorated further. Eventually something had to give and in 1975, after 157 games for the Arsenal, Charlie was sold to Derby County.

Although gone, Charlie was never forgotten by the Arsenal fans and he always received a rapturous welcome whenever he played against us.

Born in flat in Holloway
He'll play for England one fine day
Yes he will, i know he will
Oh Charlie, oh Charlie

Scored two goals at Man City
Got the winner at Wembley
He'll go down in history
Oh Charlie, oh Charlie


Charlie George - The original and undisputed King of Highbury
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Re: Highbury Legends

Postby arseman » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:49 pm

Great article, he was way before my time, but I love watching the replays of that FA Cup final goal! :clap:
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Re: Highbury Legends

Postby gzagee » Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:54 pm

Met him on my b'day. Cracking laugh. Top bloke and down to earth as well.
The original Champagne Charlie.
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Re: Highbury Legends

Postby Fordy » Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:56 am

great write up libs
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Re: Highbury Legends

Postby SE13 » Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:47 am

Fantastic! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Charlie was my first Highbury hero, although he had moved on prior to me being a regular on the terraces. My original long hair was modelled on Charlie.

Happy days!
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Please note that my comments are my own view, and not that of GoonersWorld. Everything I write is subject to © 2007-2013, and is my own work unless quoted otherwise.
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Re: Highbury Legends

Postby Libertine » Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:20 pm

Unbelievable that he only won 1 England cap.

Revie only picked him once and stuck him out on the left wing.
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Re: Highbury Legends

Postby Libertine » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:31 pm

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Re: Highbury Legends

Postby SE13 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:27 pm

Cracking find, and some absolute gems from Charlie!

I was thinking about writing something about SuperMac who was another rarely capped by England. He scored five in a game, and never got picked again!
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Re: Highbury Legends

Postby Cheese » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:21 pm

Another cracking read Libs.
“What a great day for football, all we need is some green grass and a ball.”
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Re: Highbury Legends

Postby the real gooner » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:30 pm

SE13 wrote:Cracking find, and some absolute gems from Charlie!

I was thinking about writing something about SuperMac who was another rarely capped by England. He scored five in a game, and never got picked again!



Do SuperMac please one of my all time favourites :arsenal3:
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Re: Highbury Legends

Postby She_Gunner_Wales » Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:16 am

Excellent read, nice one Libs. :claps:

How strange does it seem watching that vid, now we are so used to players names on the back of their shirts.
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Re: Highbury Legends

Postby jaspercassie01 » Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:12 pm

My first team was Chelsea, until my auntie who was in the WRAC was posted to Woolwich and decided to take me to watch Arsenal. Charlie George was playing and from that day, he was my footballing hero. Even when he went to Derby. He was as idolised with them and always remember when he scored a hat trick against the best team in the world at the time Real Madrid in a 4-1 win. Player who never achieved what he should of done, especially at international level, where we spent 20 years ignoring the mavericks and probably explained our worst period for the England team.
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