Goalkeeper George “Geordie” Maddison joined the Tigers in June 1924, beginning a fourteen year association with the club that ended up with him becoming the club’s record appearance maker (only Andy Davidson, Garreth Roberts and Chris Chilton have surpassed him since). He quickly proved himself to be a valuable asset – a big man who had a deftness of touch, a brave keeper equally adept at diving saves and commanding balls in the air. Experienced keeper Billy Mercer, who had been with the Tigers since before the outbreak of World War 1, remained first choice of manager Bill McCracken and it wasn’t until early November 1924 that Maddison made his senior debut. After missing six games in January 1925 – his deputies were experienced Londoner Herbert Bown and stalwart left back Matt Bell – Geordie started a remarkable 123 consecutive senior games that stretched until late November 1927. Replaced by Fred Gibson during December 1927, Maddison returned in the January and missed only 3 of the next 60 matches.
Towards the end of 1928/29 season McCracken started to favour Gibson over Maddison and George made only 11 starts over the next two years. But as City hurtled towards relegation to Division Three North in April 1930 Maddison was returned between the posts and also started the first 16 games of 1930/31. Gibson was preferred for a further two years between December 1930 and September 1932 with Maddison getting only 16 starts. Restored by new boss Hayden Green in October 1932, Maddison missed only 12 of the next 226 senior matches extending to October 1937, lifting the Division Three North cahmpions title in 1933. This second feat of longevity, five years after his first, established Maddison as one of the Tigers principal legends of the pre-WW2 era. For the remainder of the 1937/38 season manager Ernest Blackburn preferred Edward Goodall in goal and Maddison finally left City in the 1938 close season, receiving the proceeds of a second benefit match, a League game against Crewe, in April 1938. Weeks after Maddison was released Goodall was transferred to Bolton Wanderers but there was to be no route back to the first team for the veteran.
Born in Birtley to the south of Gateshead on the Great North Road, George Maddison played for his local Northern Alliance side Birtley FC as a teenager before joining Tottenham Hotspur in November 1922. In two seasons at White Hart Lane Maddison made 41 starts before he joined Hull City in 1924.
Maddison retired from football in 1938 and by 1939 he was living in the Willerby Road area of Hull and taking employment as an aircraft worker. Maddison’s son, also George, played in goal for City’s Junior side in late 1940s and went on to play for Aldershot either side of his national service in the early 1950s, then Wisbech Town. George senior died in Hull in May 1959.
Date/Place of Birth: 14 August 1902, Birtley
Hull City First Game: 8 November 1924, Stockport County H (Division Two), 22 years, 86 days old
Hull City Final Game: 5 February 1938, New Brighton H (Division Three North), 35 years, 175 days old
Birtley (1920-1922), Tottenham Hotspur (1922-1924), Hull City (1924-1938)
Hull City Record
Career: 456 apps, 0 goalsGeorge Maddison