Freshly-arrived from Middlesbrough, and having appeared in the opening three games of the 1939/40 season that was declared ‘null and void’, George Wardle (then aged just twenty) went on to guest for other clubs in wartime competitions and won the League South Cup with Chelsea in 1945. Returning to the Grecians in the interim 1945/46 season, he was a near ever-present when normal football resumed in 1946/47. After leaving St James’ Park he appeared for Cardiff City and Queens Park Rangers before returning to the North East to play for Darlington.
He was signed by Middlesbrough in May 1937 after playing for Durham Boys Club. Only playing once for Boro', he joined Exeter City in June 1939 and appeared in the early games of 1939/40 before football was suspended following the outbreak of war.
Stationed in London, and guesting for Chelsea, his stock steadily rose and he was selected to play for the full Army representative side against the Royal Navy at Ipswich Town’s Portman Road ground in February 1945. He also appeared for the victorious Chelsea side against Millwall in the Football League War Cup South final at Wembley in April 1945 alongside John Harris who was a wartime guest for Exeter City.
Also guesting for Lincoln City, he returned to Exeter after the war but only had one full season before moving to Cardiff City in May 1947 for the largest fee yet received by the Grecians. He subsequently moved to Queens Park Rangers for £5,000 in January 1949 and on to Darlington in August 1951 where he finished his professional career in 1954. He then coached Crook Town and later Middlesbrough’s youth team.
George Wardle died in November 1991.