George Hannah

George Hannah

George Hannah was born in Liverpool on 11th December 1928. A talented inside-forward, Hannah moved to Northern Ireland to play for Linfield.

In September, 1949, George Martin, the manager of Newcastle United, purchased Hannah and Alf McMichael for £23,000. They joined a team that included Bobby Cowell, Joe Harvey, Frank Brennan, Jack Fairbrother, Bobby Corbett, Charlie Crowe, Tommy Walker, Ernie Taylor, Jackie Milburn, George Robledo and Bobby Mitchell.

Hannah made his debut as inside-right for Newcastle United against Manchester City on 17th September 1949. That season he scored 7 goals in 25 league games. The following season he lost his place in the team to Ernie Taylor and missed out on winning a FA Cup winners' medal against Blackpool.

Newcastle United finished in 8th place in the 1951-52 season. Hannah played in 13 games that season but was not selected for the FA Cup final against Arsenal.

Hannah played in 24 league games in the 1952-53. However, it was not until the 1953-54 season that he became a first team regular. That season he managed to score 13 cup and league goals.

Newcastle United had a good FA Cup run in the 1954-55 season, Plymouth Argyle (1-0), Brentford (3-2), Nottingham Forest (2-1), Huddersfield Town (2-0), York City (2-0) to reach the final against Manchester City. This time Hannah was selected for the final at Wembley.

Newcastle's star player, Jackie Milburn, later recalled how the game started: "I won a corner on the right and Len White ran over to take it. Manchester City's captain, Roy Paul, was standing next to me as Len placed the ball, but he suddenly yelled, 'Bloody hell, I should be marking Keeble,' so off he darted to find big Vic, who was more widely noted for his prowess in the air. Len fired the ball in my direction and there was I standing all alone like Grey's Monument. I headed the ball past their keeper, Bert Trautmann and that was it."

The situation got worse for City when Jimmy Meadows suffered a serious knee injury in the 18th minute. Just as in 1952 Newcastle had just ten men to beat. Despite this disadvantage City equalized when Bobby Johnstone beat Ronnie Simpson with a diving header after good work from Joe Hayes.

In the second-half Newcastle United made their numerical advantage count. According to Jackie Milburn, the Newcastle captain, Jimmy Scouler, was the best player on the pitch: "Scoular kept spraying great crossfield balls to Bobby Mitchell and between them they tore City apart." Charlie Buchan later commented: "I have never previously seen a wing-half display as good as that of Scoular's in any big game."

In the 53rd minute Bobby Mitchell made a run down the wing before scoring from an acute angle. Soon afterwards George Hannah scored from a pass from Mitchell. Newcastle United had won the FA Cup for the third time in five years.

In September 1957 Hannah was sold to Lincoln City for £5,000. He had scored 43 goals in 175 cup and league games for Newcastle United. The move was not a success and in September 1958 he was transferred to Manchester City. He scored 15 goals in 114 appearances for the club. He also played for Notts County (1964-65) and Bradford City (1965).

George Hannah died in 1990.