George Ley

One of Our Own | Exhibition Images

Born in Exminster, George Ley had already had the experience of being at a top-level club before he was even 16, trialling at Arsenal before he left school. Luckily for Exeter City, George hadn’t wanted to move to London so the Grecians swooped in, securing young winger in September 1963. George was part of the Grecians’ first ever promotion winning side in his initial season as a professional, providing much needed depth in a small squad. When Ellis Stuttard took over as City’s manager in 1965, George was converted from a winger to left-back, as Ellis looked to make use of his pace in a trailblazing tactical system where the side’s full-backs were urged to join the attack. With City back in the Fourth Division in 1967 and looking unlikely to escape it anytime soon, George requested a transfer and moved to Division Two Portsmouth. The defender played over 150 times for Pompey and became a firm fans’ favourite, something which would later lead him to be inducted into Portsmouth’s hall of fame in 2014. After a short spell at Brighton, George hopped across the pond to join North American Soccer League side Dallas Tornado, twice being named in the League’s All-Star team. The defender then played for indoor Soccer League side Wichita Wings, finishing his career at the club. George returned to England for a brief spell as a coach for Luton before returning to his beloved States to become the Director of Coaching for the River City Rangers.