George_Moorhouse

The late 1920s saw Tranmere produce some of the club’s greatest players such as Dixie Dean, Ellis Rimmer, Thomas ‘Pongo’ Waring and Bill Ridding. All of these players are greats of the game and held up in high regard within football history.

However one accolade that all of these greats missed out on was the chance to play in the World Cup. In 1930 when FIFA put together the first World Cup the FA still believed that England were the best team in the world and we didn’t need to prove it so declined to join the World Cup.

This decision saw some of the greatest names in English football failing to ever get the chance to show the world just how good they were. England wouldn’t play in a World Cup the 1950.

The World Cup went ahead without England and many other European teams with only Belgium, France, Romania and Yugoslavia representing Europe. In the original World Cup teams didn’t qualify they were invited but many nations turned down the offer due the competition being held in Uruguay which even the 1930s was not an easy place to get to.

With so few European teams the competition had a very American feel with the majority of the teams coming from the South America unsurprisingly. One team not from South America however was the United States team who only 18 days sail away from Uruguay took up the offer to compete in the World Cup.

The US team was fairly inexperienced only playing eleven international games before the competition. The team was a mix of American and foreign born players including several from England. However of the English players only one had played at a professional level, George Moorhouse.

George Moorhouse was from Liverpool and after the First World War thought he’s try hand at a footballing career and signed with Leeds United. However struggling to make it into the first team Moorhouse signed for Tranmere Rovers in 1921.

To say Moorhouse’s time at Tranmere was uneventful would be understatement as he only made two appearances for the first team and spent most of time playing for the reserve team.

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In 1923 Moorhouse emigrated to the Canada where he continued to play football for Montreal before moving south of the border to America. His time in the new American leagues would be his most prosperous as a footballer.

Originally Moorhouse moved to the Brooklyn Wanderers but after a couple of months he transferred to the New York Giants where he’d spend the next seven seasons scoring 45 goals and making 250 appearances.

Moorhouse made his first international appearance in 1926 when America beat Canada 6-1. In 1930 he was selected to represent the USA in the first World Cup making him the first professional English player to do so.
On the opening day of the World Cup the USA team and Moorhouse took on Belgium in front of 15,000 supporters at the Central Park Stadium in Montevideo and won 3-0. The USA team then beat Paraguay 3-0 which took them to the Semi Finals were they would meet Argentina.

Moorhouse who must have only ever played in front of small crowds at Prenton Park and in the American league now found himself preparing to run out to a staging 112,000 supporters in the Centenario Stadium. The game was a flop for Moorhouse and the team as injuries led to the Argentineans hammering the USA team 6-1.

The USA team finished third in the first World Cup after Yugoslavia refused to play America after losing their semi final. No other USA team has finished higher than Moorhouse and the rest of the 1930 team.

In 1934 the USA team was again asked to compete in the World Cup in Italy and this time George Moorhouse would captain the team. This made Moorhouse the first Englishman to captain a World Cup team.

Unfortunately the American team’s first round game was against the hosts Italy who beat Moorhouse and his team 7-1 knocking them out of the tournament. Italy went on to win the second World Cup.

After his footballing career he moved to Longbeach California and became a postmaster. Sadly though in 1943 he suffered a hear attack whilst driving with his wife. Both were killed in the accident, Moorhouse was only 41 years old.

Although his time at Tranmere was brief and uneventful we should remember this other great 1930s football and perhaps his achievements should be recognised at the English Hall of Fame.

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