Birmingham-born George Reader, a St Luke’s College student, made a solitary Southern League appearance for Exeter City against Southampton on 1 January 1920. He later had a brief spell with the Hampshire club before, many years later, returning as chairman following a refereeing career that saw him take charge of the final match in the 1950 World Cup.
George was a schoolteacher who had attended St Luke’s College in Exeter where he made a name for himself playing for the college team in the Exeter Wednesday League. Called upon to make his only first-team appearance against Southampton in January 1920, he hit the crossbar and netted the fourth goal in City’s 4-1 win.
After leaving college in 1920 he signed for Southampton for whom he made three league appearances before playing for Harland & Wolff and Cowes. Working as an assistant schoolmaster in Southampton, he took up refereeing in 1930 and progressed through the system with great speed. Within six seasons he was running the line in the Football League before being promoted to referee during the 1939/40 season. With the season soon abandoned, he.continued to officiate throughout the war years taking charge of wartime cup finals and internationals. Retiring, as was normal, from the league list at the age of forty-eight he refereed in other countries until being recalled from retirement to take charge Brentford versus Chelsea in 1948 and the game between Great Britain and the Rest of Europe at Hampden Park. Subsequently in 1950 he was invited to officiate in the World Cup in Brazil and took charge of the decisive match between the hosts and Uruguay at the age of fifty-three.
After retiring as a headteacher he later became chairman of Southampton and died in 1978.