You wait decades for a biography of Middlesbrough goal machine George Camsell then two come along at once!
Hot on the heels of Dr Tosh Warwick announcing he has started on a book about the record breaking Boro and England man, local historian Paul Menzies has revealed he too is working on a tome about the Teesside titan.
Paul – who has been publishing local history books since 1985 – has been working on the Camsell story for the last five years but his fascination goes back to his childhood.
“I grew up listening to tales from my grand-father about his hero, the Boro’s record breaking goal scorer George Camsell,” he explained.
“I never got to speak to George but I did see him several time as he walked by and my grandfather pointed him out with a quiet awe and reverence given to legends.”
The life-long interest sparked into work on a book after Paul met the Camsell family while preparing a radio documentary on Camsell, who rattled in an incredible 325 goals in 419 goals for Boro and added an amazing 18 in nine for England to boot.
Camsell joined Boro for a cut-price £500 from Third Division side Durham City, facing a massive cash crisis in the aftermath of the 1926 miners strike.
It was to prove one of the best buys in the clubs history as Camsell exploded and plundered a then record 59 goals to fire Boro to promotion then went on to spearhead the attack until the outbreak of war in 1939. He later joined the club staff and worked at Ayresome Park as scout, coach and eventually assistant secretary.
“In 2016, to mark the 50th anniversary of his death I presented a BBC Tees programme on George’s amazing career at Middlesbrough,” he recalled.
“George’ son – also called George – was a regular listener and we did the show with input from him. I also arranged for George and his wives to be guests for the game against Wolves when the club and the crowd paid tribute to the legend to mark the 50th anniversary.
“I was very aware that there was no lasting memorial to George so after discussions with the Camsell family the idea of a biography was born. I had been researching his career for some years but the major breakthrough came when the family allowed me unique access to the family archives. I spent many hours with them gathering information and am grateful for their collaboration.”
Now Paul, who has also written a book on Middlesbrough and the Great War, part of a nationwide series in 1914, is appealing for personal stories, family anecdotes and memorabilia from fans and friends of the Boro icon.
He can be contacted by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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