Jorge "George" Robledo Oliver (14 April 1926 – 1 April 1989) was a Chilean professional footballer. He played as a striker, and is most notable for his time spent with Newcastle United. He was the first non-British-registered foreign player to become top scorer in England.
|Full name||Jorge Robledo Oliver|
|Date of birth||14 April 1926|
|Place of birth||Iquique, Chile|
|Date of death||1 April 1989(aged 62)|
|Place of death||Viña del Mar, Chile|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Robledo was born in Iquique, Chile to a Chilean father and an English mother. He emigrated with his family to Brampton, Yorkshire in 1932, at the age of five, due to the instability in Chile at the time.
Robledo started his footballing career at Huddersfield Town, playing as a part-time amateur while he earned his money coal mining, though he never managed to break into the first team. He was able to give up the coal mining when he moved to Second Division Barnsley during World War II. First Division club Newcastle United signed him on 27 January 1949, for a fee of £26,500. The fee included his brother Ted; Newcastle were only interested in buying George but he refused to move without his brother.
Robledo's league debut for Newcastle came in the 2–0 victory away to Charlton Athletic on 5 February, while his first league goal came a month later in the derby match against Sunderland at St James' Park. Newcastle came out of the match 2–1 winners, with Robledo's goal separating the sides, helping to quickly make him a fan favourite. The other Newcastle goal scorer was Jackie Milburn, marking the start of one of the great striking partnerships in Newcastle United's history. Robledo went on to score 5 more goals in the last 12 games of the season.
The following season, Robledo scored 11 goals for Newcastle, then netted 14 times in the 1950–51 season and became the first South American to play in the FA Cup final, when Newcastle beat Blackpool 2–0 to lift the Cup. Robledo finished as Division One's top scorer in the 1951–52 season with 33 goals, 39 in all competitions (equalling Hughie Gallacher's record). Robledo finished the season by scoring the goal which defeated Arsenal in the FA Cup final, helping Newcastle lift the cup in successive seasons. The goal scored by Robledo was drawn by a young John Lennon, who included it in the artwork of his album Walls and Bridges in 1974.
|Robledo goal in the 1952 cup final. Pathe Films.|
In the 1952–53 season, Robledo scored 18 times, taking his all time goals record for Newcastle to 91 and his league record to 82 (making him the highest scoring (non-Irish) overseas player in the English top flight, a record that was broken nearly half a century later by Dwight Yorke). At the end of the season, Ted Robledo was sold to Colo-Colo and George soon followed him, with Colo-Colo paying Newcastle £25,000 for his services. Both brothers were highly popular in Chile, and George ended as top scorer in the Chilean league in 1953 and 1954, with 26 and 25 goals respectively.
Robledo left Colo-Colo in 1958, and spent a year out of football, before signing for Club Deportivo O'Higgins where he played out the final years of his career, until his retirement in 1960.
Chile recruited Robledo for the 1950 FIFA World Cup, even though he spoke no Spanish. He made his debut in the opening group game against England (one of his opponents reputedly warned him after he'd hit the post "Steady, George, you're not playing for Newcastle now, you know") and scored in Chile's 5–2 victory over the United States. He was in the Chile squad for the 1955 and 1957 South American Championships, finishing as runners-up in the former tournament.
He made thirty-one appearances for his national side, scoring eight goals over a period of seven years.
Robledo married in 1959, and later had a daughter. He finally retired from football in 1961 and took charge of the sports program in St Peter's school, Viña del Mar, where he remained leading a quiet life until his death of a heart attack on 1 April 1989, just before his 63rd birthday. He was survived by his wife Gladys and daughter Elizabeth; Gladys, now in her eighties, is still living 30 years later.
- "All Time Greats". tripod.com. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
- Molina, Paula (4 April 2016). "Jorge Robledo, el futbolista chileno inmortalizado en un disco de John Lennon". BBC Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 April 2017.
- Sean Ingle & Scott Murray (4 April 2001). "Robledo of the pack?". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
- Sean Ingle & Scott Murray (11 April 2001). "Lucky, lucky Arsenal". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
- "Chile - list of Topscorers". RSSSF.com. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
- "England Match No. 256 - Chile - 25 June 1950 - Match Summary and Report". England Football Online. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
- "Newcastle United legend George Robledo on Lennon sketch". The Northern Echo. 31 December 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
- "Player Details : Jorge Oliver "George" Robledo". Toon1892.com. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
- Palabra de Fútbol Article in Spanish, retrieved 24 May 2006.