Remembering George ‘Diamond Freddie’ Wheldon

George Wheldon was born in Langley Green, Oldbury, Worcestershire, on 1st November, in either 1869 or 1871?

Also known as ‘Diamond Freddie’, he had a trial with West Brom in 1888 and then signed for Small Heath (later to be Birmingham FC in 1905), in 1890, where he missed just one league game in six seasons. George moved on to Aston Villa in the summer of 1896.

During his spell there, the club amassed three League titles, which included a League/FA Cup double in 1896/97.

Despite his success with the club, he eventually fell out with the Villa board because they objected to George also working as a publican.

George had made his debut for England against Ireland on 20thFebruary 1897 at the Trent Bridge Cricket Ground. He went on to gain three further caps for his country and scored a total of six goals.

In June 1900, George signed for West Bromwich Albion.

Given his involvement as a pub landlord in the Midlands, perhaps it was surprising that Rangers signed him from West Brom in late 1901? George made his QPR debut at Reading on 16th November.

After making 14 appearances and scoring six goals, George moved on to Portsmouth at the end of the 1901/02 season.

Between 1899 and 1906, George also played County cricket for Worcestershire. He made his first-class debut against Yorkshire in May 1899.

By 1911, George was the landlord of the Farrier Arms in Worcester, where he lived with his second wife Annie and their children.

George retired from football in January 1907.

He sadly passed away at the Farrier’s Arms on 13th January 1924.

Steve Russell

(Thanks to Colin Woodley for his assistance)