Guys in Disguise, George Armstrong, from Arsenal double to Leicester City relegation

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Often at the end of a career some still see you as a good player and they might think it’s still some juice left to help out in a difficult situation. Frank McLintock arrived at Leicester City in the summer of 1977, taking over from Jimmy Bloomfield, who had an aging squad with a few key players coming to a certain age.

Frank McLintock had just left QPR as a player and went back to some of his old team mates to get them to move and play for him, and leave their current clubs for minor fees. George Armstrong, a legend at Arsenal was one of those players following in the foot steps of David Webb and Eddie Kelly who had also joined their former team mate and trying to give Leicester City a lift and helping to avoid relegation.

George completed a total of 500 league games for Arsenal and of course playing in a number of European, FA Cup and League Cup games as well, being part of that special Double act team of 1970/71.  He was also part of the team that won the 1969/70 European Fairs Cup and also representing Arsenal in the 1968 and 1969 League Cup finals, ending runners-up, the same was his contribution in the 1972 FA Cup final, being defeated 1-0 by Leeds.

George Armstrong made his debut for Leicester on the 24th of September 1977, it all ended in a terrible 3-0 defeat at home to high flying Nottingham Forest, who later won the league all together. Armstrong stayed on for the rest of the season and beyond, but only included in 12 games by his “old pal” McLintock.

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Armstrong was 33 at the time, and few or no one could figure out why a player at that age, signing for free would be a valuable asset for Leicester at the time, trying to replace older players with even an older one.

Armstrong stayed with Leicester also after the relegation and played 3 league games for Jock Wallace before making a switch to Stockport early on, and we never really did see the best years of a great footballer who had taken a strange path towards retirement.

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George Armstrong went in to coaching and had spells in Norway and Kuwait, before returning home and becoming a key man again at Highbury working for the club in different coaching capacities until his early death at the age 56. Sadly his time at Leicester City was in a period of decline and his move was never seen as a success for one of the best wingers in the country during his 20’s. Sir Alf Ramsey never took him upstairs, and his tally of five England U.23 caps was his international bow, as it was not a priority to play with wingers under Sir Alf.

  • Full Name: George Armstrong
  • Position: Winger
  • Date of Birth: 09.08.1944
  • Birthplace: Hemel Hempstead
  • Nation: England
  • Caps / Goals: 0/0
  • Major League Career:
    • 1961-77, Arsenal (500/53)
    • 1977-78, Leicester City (15/0)
    • 1978-79, Stockport County (34/0)
  • Links: Wikipedia

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