George Henry Camsell (27 November 1902 – 7 March 1966) was an English footballer who scored a club record 325 league goals in 419 games for Middlesbrough, and 18 goals in 9 appearances for England. His 59 goals in one season (1926–27) for Middlesbrough was a Football League record at the time, and has only ever be bettered within the English game by Dixie Dean of Everton in 1927-28. He also holds the highest goals-to-games ratio for England of anyone who has played more than a single international.
|Full name||George Henry Camsell|
|Date of birth||27 November 1902|
|Place of birth||Framwellgate Moor, England|
|Date of death||7 March 1966(aged 63)|
|Place of death||England|
|Tow Law Town||?||(?)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Born in Framwellgate Moor, Durham City in 1902, Camsell worked as a miner and played for Durham City. He caught the attention of Middlesbrough after scoring 21 goals in 20 games in a season and signed for Middlesbrough on 6 October 1925 for the sum of £500. His début was against Nottingham Forest on 31 October 1925. He scored three Boro goals in the 1925–26 season.
The Middlesbrough club record of 59 League goals in 37 games and 63 goals in all competitions in one season is held by him; he accomplished this feat in the 1926–27 season, his first full season with Middlesbrough. After he had initially struggled for game time and almost joined Barnsley, he made his first appearance of the season on 18 September 1926 after Jimmy McClelland had suffered an injury. Having failed to score on that day, Camsell would only fail to score on two more occasions in the following 25 matches, taking in a run of 12 successive matches in which he scored at least once. He scored five on Christmas Day 1926 against Manchester City, and two more in the return fixture on 27 December. In February 1927, Camsell broke the record for league goals in a season by a player, having overtaken Jimmy Cookson's haul of 44 (for Chesterfield in 1925–26). 59 remains the second-highest number of league goals scored and the equal highest number in all competitions in one English league season, behind Dixie Dean's 60 league and 100 total a year later.
Camsell was Middlesbrough's top scorer in each of his first ten full seasons, and he bagged at least 30 in each of the first five as well as the tenth. Between 1925 and 1939, Camsell scored 345 goals in 453 games for Middlesbrough, including 325 league goals, (the fifth-highest English total of all-time). His goals included 24 hat-tricks for the club. He played his last League game for Middlesbrough against Leicester City at Ayresome Park on 10 April 1939, in a 3–2 victory. Camsell scored the opening goal. He continued to play for them into 1940 following the cessation of the 1939–40 Football League season during the Second World War, playing in wartime competitions.
Camsell also won nine caps for England, scoring 18 goals. This is the highest goals-to-games ratio of anyone who has played more than a single international. His goals included a hat-trick in a 6–0 win against Wales on 20 November 1929 in the 1930 British Home Championship and four goals in a match against Belgium on 11 May 1929. He scored in every match he played for England; his nine consecutive scoring appearances are second only to Steve Bloomer.
During the Second World War, Camsell worked in local factories. After the war, he worked for Middlesbrough's backroom staff, firstly as a scout, where he discovered a young Brian Clough. He then became a coach and eventually the club's assistant secretary.
Death and legacyEdit
Camsell retired in 1963 and died in 1966, aged 63, shortly before that year's World Cup. A suite at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium is named after him and in 2015, calls began for a statue of Camsell to be placed outside the stadium, joining those of George Hardwick and Wilf Mannion. A club spokesman said that such an honour could not be ruled out, adding: "As a club we honour and respect our former heroes and George Camsell is certainly one of those."
- Joyce, Michael (2004). Football League Players' Records 1888–1939. Nottingham: Soccerdata. p. 47. ISBN 1-899468-67-6.
- "England players: George Camsell". englandfootballonline. 30 January 2018. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- Andy Bell; Duncan Leatherdale (19 September 2015). "George Camsell: The best England striker you never heard of". BBC. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
- Burnton, Simon (21 December 2017). "Golden Goals: when George Camsell scored five on Christmas Day 1926". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 1 March 2018.