George Holdcroft

George Holdcroft : Preston North End

George Holdcroft was born in Burslem on 23rd January 1909. A goalkeeper, he played for local clubs, Biddulph, Norton Druids and Whitfield Colliery before joining Port Vale in the Second Division of the Football League in 1926.

Holdcroft only played in 10 games in the 1926-27 season. He moved to Darlington in the Third Division (North). He gained a regular place in the side and played 83 games over the next three years.

In 1931 Holdcroft was signed by Everton but he failed to get into the first team and in 1932 moved to Preston North End. He made his debut at Southampton on 24th December 1932. Holdcroft went on to play in 172 consecutive Football League and FA Cup matches.

Holdcroft joined a talented team that included Robert Kelly, Bill Shankly, Jimmy Dougal, Frank Gallimore, Ted Harper, Jimmy Milne, Billy Hough, Bill Tremelling, John Palethorpe, John Pears, Henry Lowe, George Fitton, Frank Beresford and George Bargh. In the 1933-34 season this team won promotion to the First Division.

In the 1935-36 season, Preston North End finished 7th in the First Division of the Football League. Holdcroft's form was so good he was selected to play for England against Wales on 17th October, 1936. The following month he won a second international cap against Northern Ireland.

Preston had a good cup run in the 1936-37 season. Holdcroft broke a finger in a game against Middlesbrough and missed the semi-final and final, where they lost to Sunderland 3-1. Holdcroft made up for this disappointment by playing in the 1938 FA Cup Final victory over Huddersfield Town.

Holdcroft's successful football career was interrupted by the Second World War. He joined Barnsley in 1945 and also played for Morecambe and Chorley before retiring from the game.

George Holdcroft died in 1983.