Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
Leeds United/City Captains
Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games
Leeds United/City Reserves and Other Teams

O’Brien: George

1957-1959 (Player Details)

Inside Forward

Born: Dunfermline: 22-11-1935

Debut: v Newcastle United (h): 16-03-1957

5’6” 10st 11lb (1958)

O’Brien began with Blairhall Colliery before joining Dunfermline Athletic in October 1952, winning promotion with them to the Scottish League First Division in 1954-55, when he scored ten goals in twenty-nine starts as the club finished runners-up to Airdrieonians, with just four points less. He scored twenty-six goals in ninety-three League games for the Pars. He also scored twice in three Penman Cup games, eight times in sixteen Scottish League Cup games but could not find the bet in four Scottish Cup games. In March 1957 Raich Carter signed him for Leeds towards the end of United’s First Division campaign following their promotion. United had lost Albert Nightingale, who was forced to retire due to injury and ageing Harold Brook, at thirty-seven, was ready to retire. O’Brien and Chris Crowe were looked upon as their young replacements with Bob Forrest also in contention. United sold the irreplaceable John Charles at the end of that season and although Hugh Baird scored regularly they went into decline and O’Brien, who was also serving his National Service at the same time, struggled accordingly and his scoring record was poor. He was not alone, as most of United’s forwards were similarly afflicted as United fought two seasons of avoiding relegation. The arrival of Wilbur Cush and Noel Peyton gave United more options, but the signing of Don Revie in November 1958 made the competition for places even harder. O’Brien was sold to Southampton for £10,000 in July 1959 and there he showed his true value. He forged a highly effective partnership with England International Terry Paine at the Dell. He spent seven years with the Saints as they rose from Division Three to Division One and his powerful shooting brought him one hundred and fifty-four goals in two hundred and forty-three League games. In all games he scored one hundred and eighty-eight goals and that made him Southampton’s fifth all-time highest goalscorer. He was Southampton’s leading goalscorer in four of the seasons that he was there, with twenty-two in 1960-61, twenty-six in 1961-62, twenty-two in 1962-63 and thirty-two in 1964-65. He would probably have topped the scorers in his other seasons but injury saw him score sixteen in only twenty-four matches in 1963-64. His twenty-three goals in forty-two games led Southampton to the Third Division championship in his first season with them in 1962-63 and he scored eleven goals in just sixteen games as the Saints were promoted, as runners-up, to the First Division in his final season with them in 1965-66. In March 1966 he went to Leyton Orient in exchange for David Webb, later to score Chelsea’s 1970 FA Cup Final winner against Leeds, but nine months later, after just three goals in seventeen League games, he became an Aldershot player. After turning down a one year contract he left the Shots in 1968 having scored eight goals in forty-one appearances, including three as a substitute. After leaving football he ran a pub, the Waterloo Arms, in Southampton and then moved to Edinburgh, where he was a sub-postmaster before returning to Southampton to run another pub, the Star and Garter in Freemantle. His son played for Dunfermline between 1979 and 1991 and also East Fife, Berwick Rangers and Montrose.

League 446