George Kirby (footballer)

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George Kirby
Personal information
Date of birth (1933-12-20)20 December 1933
Place of birth Liverpool, England
Date of death 24 March 2000(2000-03-24) (aged 66)
Place of death Elland, England[1]
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[2]
Playing position Centre forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1952–1959 Everton 26 (9)
1959–1960 Sheffield Wednesday 3 (0)
1960–1962 Plymouth Argyle 93 (38)
1962–1964 Southampton 63 (28)
1964 Coventry City 18 (10)
1964–1965 Swansea Town 26 (8)
1965–1967 Walsall 75 (25)
1967–1968 New York Generals 47 (23)
1968–1969 Brentford 5 (1)
1969 Worcester City
Teams managed
1970–1971 Halifax Town
1971–1973 Watford
1974–1975 ÍA
in Kuwait
1977–1978 ÍA
1978–1981 Halifax Town
1980 ÍA
1982 ÍA
1990 ÍA
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

George Kirby (20 December 1933 – 24 March 2000[3][4]) was an English footballer and manager.

Playing career[edit]

Kirby was born in Liverpool. He was a centre forward who played for Everton, Sheffield Wednesday, Plymouth Argyle,[5] Southampton, Walsall, Swansea City, Coventry City, New York Generals and Brentford.[3][6] His career lasted from 1952 to 1969 during which he made 309 Football League appearances and scored 119 goals.

Management career[edit]

His first post in management was at Halifax Town, initially as coach to Alan Ball Senior and then in 1970 as first team manager. He spent only one full season in charge, giving the club their most successful ever campaign just missing out on promotion to the old second division. He started the 1971–72 season by leading Halifax to a 2–1 Watney Cup victory over a full strength Manchester United side, which included George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton. Just a week later Kirby left Halifax to take charge at Watford where he remained until May 1973. At Watford, injuries, boardroom unrest, and a shortage of luck and money, conspired to produce two terrible winters consisting of one humiliation and very nearly a second.

He later moved to Iceland where he managed one of the country's leading clubs; Íþróttabandalag Akraness (ÍA)[7][8]

In 1978, he left Akranes and returned to Halifax. Kirby inspired the team to another famous victory over Mancunian rivals; this time it was the turn of Malcolm Allison's Manchester City, who fell to a single Paul Hendrie goal in an FA Cup 3rd round tie in January 1980. His second spell with the Yorkshire club ended in June 1981 after a string of poor results saw his team finish second bottom of the old 4th division.


  1. ^ "George Kirby". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  2. ^ Knight, Brian (1989). Plymouth Argyle: A Complete Record 1903–1989. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 86. ISBN 0-907969-40-2.
  3. ^ a b Riddle, Andy (2001). Plymouth Argyle: 101 Golden Greats. Westcliff-on-Sea: Desert Island Books. pp. 101–102. ISBN 1-874287-47-3.
  4. ^ "KIRBY - SCOURGE OF HIGH FLYERS". Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  5. ^ [1] Archived 5 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^
  7. ^ Safnasvæðið Akranesi - Saga íþrótta á Akranesi
  8. ^ Þjálfarar ÍA 1951 - 2007 - Íþróttabandalag Akraness Archived 15 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  • Meynell, Johnny (1999). Halifax Town From Ball to Lillis; A Complete Record. Desert Island Books. ISBN 1-87428-726-0.
  • The Watford Football Club Illustrated Who's Who by Trefor Jones