Writer: Peverell Green
Date:Monday July 8 2013
Former Argyle striker and all round sportsman George Dews is the subject of this week's Where Are They Now instalment.
GEORGE DEWS - Born 5th June 1921 Ossett, Yorkshire.
George began his football career with Middlesborough and was a regular in the team during the 1946-47 season playing in Division 1 (Premiership) where he played 33 games and scored eight goals.
It must have been a bit of a coup for Argyle manager Jimmy Rae to have persuaded him to move to a Division 2 team, although a share of the £11,000 fee probably helped make up his mind.
He played his first game for the Greens on 1st November 1947 in a 1-1 draw at Chesterfield.
He scored his first goal just before Christmas when he got the third in an easy 3-0 home win over Newcastle watched by a crowd of 27,069. His other league goal in his first season also came in a 3-0 home win, this time against Cardiff with 25,034 watching the game.
George also scored in the FA Cup third round against Luton at Home Park, unfortunately the 36,195 crowd couldn't cheer Argyle on to a win, with the Hatters winning 4-2.
1948-49 saw George more than double his league goal tally; he scored his first of the season in October when he scored the Argyle goal in a 1-0 win at home to Bury.
His next came in a 1-1 draw at Highfield Road Coventry. His third goal came when he scored the first in a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Blackburn with Maurice Tadman getting the other two. West Brom came to Home Park and returned with both points after a 2-1 win with George scoring the Argyle consolation goal.
George's final goal of the season came in early April when he scored Argyle's goal in a 2-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. Argyle finished the season in 20th position, one point and one place above a relegation spot.
The next season again saw George double the number of goals he scored, although it was a difficult season for Argyle, a draw at home to Bradford Park Avenue on the opening day of the season would be the only point they won until the ninth game of the season when they beat Brentford 2-0 at Home Park.
George opened his account in October when he scored the second goal in a 4-2 win at home to Grimsby with Bill Strauss, Maurice Tadman and George Taylor also on the scoresheet.
His next came against Southampton at the Dell in a thrilling 3-3 draw, George opened the scoring and goals from Stan Williams and Bill Strauss ensured Argyle went home with a well earned point.
George then got both goals in a 2-2 draw at home to Barnsley.
His next came on New Year's Eve when he scored the second goal in a 2-2 draw at West Ham after Bill Strauss had scored the first Argyle goal.
In the next game he scored the fourth goal in what would be Argyle's result of the season against promoted Sheffield Wednesday in a 4-2 win at Hillsborough with a Frank Squires double and one from Bill Strauss sending most of the 39,316 crowd home unhappy.
In February Argyle started a disastrous ten match run without a win; during those ten games they only scored two goals, George scoring both of them in a 2-2 draw away to Grimsby.
Their first win for over two months came on April 10th when they beat Leicester 2-1 at home Park, Bill Strauss got the first goal with George getting the decisive second. Unfortunately at the end of the season only Bradford Park Avenue were below Argyle in the table and they were relegated to Division 3 South.
In a lower division 1950-51 saw a revival in Argyle's fortunes and incredibly for a fourth successive season George doubled his goal tally, forming a deadly partnership with the prolific Maurice Tadman, even though George scored twenty goals he was still outgunned by Maurice who managed to score 26 times.
George opened his account for the season when he scored Argyle's consolation goal in a 4-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest and the following week he scored the first goal in a 2-0 home win over Reading with Peter Rattray getting the second.
In October 17,000 packed into Plainmoor to watch Argyle beat their Devon neighbours 3-1 with Maurice Tadman scoring twice and George finishing off the scoring.
The same two scorers teamed up when Argyle went to Swindon and beat them 2-1.
The following Saturday saw Argyle record their biggest win for many a season when they beat Colchester 7-1 with all five of their forwards getting on the scoresheet, Maurice Tadman and Bill Strauss both scored twice with Alex Govan, George and Neil Dougall also scoring.
George's next goals came when Crystal Palace came to Home Park and were soundly beaten 4-0 with George getting two, Alex Govan and an OG sending the Londoners home pointless.
On Boxing Day a crowd of 26,306 saw Argyle beat Bristol City 2-0 with George scoring the second goal after Gordon Astall had opened the scoring.
In Early February Argyle went to Exeter with George's two goals not being enough with City coming out on top of the local derby 3-2. Bournemouth were the next team to suffer at the hands, or should that be feet, of the Argyle strikers, Maurice, George and Alex Govan all scoring in a comfortable 3-1 home win.
Maurice and George then combined to get a point at Aldershot in a 2-2 draw.
Swindon came to Home Park and were given a 5-1 thrashing With Maurice, George and Alex scoring the first three goals, with George Willis and a rare Paddy Ratcliffe goal completely demoralising the visitors.
George next scored against Millwall in a 2-2 home draw with Alex Govan getting the second.
Eventual runners-up Norwich came to Home Park in April with two goals from George denting the Norfolk team`s promotion hopes in a 2-1 home win.
George's last goal of the season came in a 3-1 win at Northampton; he scored the third goal after wingers Gordon Astall and Alex Govan had both scored. It was the fourth of five successive wins that would see Argyle finish in fourth place.
The following season Argyle's four main strikers scored 89 goals between them, Maurice Tadman 27, George 25, Peter Rattray 19 and Gordon Astall 18 (what would any team now give for their fourth highest goalscorer ending the season on 18) it's no surprise they finished the season as champions.
With so many goals I'll just mention some of the more memorable games.
The first home game of the season saw Argyle romp to a 5-0 win over Crystal Palace with George (2) Gordon Astall, Bill Strauss and Peter Rattray scoring.
In the last game of 1951 Shrewsbury came to Home Park and were thrashed 6-1 George (2), Peter Rattray (2), Maurice Tadman and Alex Govan scoring for the Greens.
On January 12th 25,494 turned up at Home Park to see goals from George and Peter Rattray beat local rivals Exeter 2-1.
A home game against Bournemouth saw Argyle finishing easy 4-1 winners with George (2), Gordon Astall and Alex Govan scoring.
The final home game of the season saw Argyle crowned as champions with 28,728 watching an entertaining 2-2 draw against Torquay and fittingly it was goal heroes George Dews and Maurice Tadman who scored the goals.
The season ended with Argyle five points clear of runners up Reading and Norwich and scoring a club record 107 goals.
Out of 46 games played, Argyle scored in 40 of them with at least one of the fabulous four scoring in 38 games.
Back in Division 2 George found goals harder to come by, he scored his first in October in a 3-0 home win over Barnsley, he started the ball rolling and an own goal then one from Gordon Astall saw Argyle to an easy win.
He then scored a consolation goal as Argyle were beaten 3-1 at Nottingham Forest.
Two weeks later he teamed up with scoring partner Maurice Tadman to beat Brentford 2-1 at Griffin Park.
In January George scored the first goal in a 4-1 third round FA Cup win at home to Coventry with Arthur Smith, Gordon Astall and Alex Govan also scoring.
George again combined with Maurice to beat Fulham 3-1 at Home Park with Maurice scoring twice.
George's final goal of the season came on March 21st in a 3-1 win at Ewood Park Blackburn he scored the third after Neil Dougall and Eric Davis had scored.
At the end of the season Argyle finished fourth in Division 2 (Championship) in what is still their highest ever league finish.
George scored eight times during the 1953-54 season the first came on October 3rd in a 1-1 home draw with Stoke.
A month later he scored twice in a 3-1 win at Home Park against Bristol Rovers with Sam McCrory also scoring.
Two weeks later he scored the vital third goal in a 3-2 home win over Derby with Keith Thomas and Maurice Tadman also on the scoresheet. Christmas Day saw Argyle travelling to Fulham where they were beaten 3-1 with George scoring for Argyle.
Mid-January saw Argyle biggest win of the season, 5-0 at home to Oldham George scored twice with Ernie Edds, Hugh McJarrow and an own goal completing the scoring.
George's last goal of the season came in March when he scored a consolation goal in a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Lincoln. Although he didn't score the Argyle result of the season came when the beat runners-up Everton 4-0 at Home Park.
1954-55 was George's last season at the club and all his goals came in the first half of the season, the first coming in what must have been an exciting 3-3 draw with Liverpool at Anfield, he scored the second goal after Keith Thomas had opened the scoring and Johnny Porteous scored the third.
Three weeks later George scored the second goal in a 2-2 draw at Ewood Park Blackburn after Malcolm Davies had scored the first.
In early October Hull came to Home Park winning 2-1 with George scoring the Argyle goal.
George's fourth goal came in a 2-1 away defeat at Ipswich with his final goal both for the season and his time at the club coming on Christmas Day in a 2-2 home draw with Swansea, Neil Langman scored the first and George got the second.
With Jack Rowley now manager George became surplus to requirements and at the end of the season was transferred to Walsall.
He played his final game on 16th April in a 2-0 home win over Ipswich with Johnny Porteous and George Willis scoring for Argyle.
George was a very versatile player, able to play in any position; he even took over in goal when Les Major had to go off injured.
While at Argyle George made 271 appearances and scored 81 goals.
George didn't settle at Walsall and only made nine appearances scoring one goal before announcing his retirement.
While George was a talented footballer he was an even better cricketer.
He never played in the last matches of the football season as he was needed to play cricket for Worcestershire.
He made his debut in 1946 against Lancashire and was out for a pair of ducks.
In 1950 he broke the 1,000 run barrier for the first time and repeated the feat every year but one until he retired in 1961.
In 1959 he scored 1,752 runs for an average of 41.71.
He never played for England but was selected to play both for the MCC and the North of England.
In total he scored nearly 17,000 runs from 374 matches and also made 355 catches.
After retiring from cricket George took up golf and was a single handicap player at his Stourbridge club.
After suffering ill health and having to move into a nursing home George passed away on January 21st 2003 aged 81.
Date:Monday July 8 2013
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Stats: Plymouth Argyle v Portsmouth (Saturday November 15 2014)
Ref For Argyle v Portsmouth (Thursday November 13 2014)
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