George Milburn rose to be one of the Spireite greats in a period of service that spanned the Second World War. A rugged, no-nonsense player, his somewhat stocky build and prematurely receding hairline gave the impression of his being an intimidating sort, but he had some neat edges to his uncompromising outlook.
The son of a pro footballer, the cousin of Newcastle's Jackie Milburn and the uncle of Jack and Bobby Charlton, George was one of four brothers, all professionals: the three apart from brother Stan, all played full-back for Leeds. John, James and George amassed around 750 Leeds games between them. George joined Leeds from Ashington Colliery Welfare in 1928. Upon being relegated to the Elland Road reserves in '36-7, he skippered them to their only Central League championship to date before switching to Chesterfield.
He wasn't so much of a veteran that Chesterfield could get him on the cheap; £1500 had to change hands before Leeds would agree to his transfer. Thanks to the war, of course, George's ten-year career here returned only 102 League starts, although another 221 wartime games were played, since George's wartime occupation at the local Tube Works prevented a call-up for the forces.
Although primarily a defender, he performed with distinction in the forward line when called upon to do so, and is fondly remembered for his hat-trick of penalties against Sheffield Wednesday in 1947. When the time came to hang up his boots in 1948, he moved on to the coaching staff at the Rec, and served on that until 1961.
For Chesterfield: 105 Football League appearances, 16 goals.