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Kay Collins, 2009
George Sail - part 2
Amongst the items Ada Holloway (nee Sail) kept in her own archive, were several diaries and three exercise books. One of the books is a scrapbook entitled “My Brother - George Herbert Sail”. It contains lots of newsclips.
Inside the front cover Ada wrote a list of key events in his football career:-
Rushden South End School Intermediate Old Boys 1940
Rushden & District Schools
Rushden Amateurs & Baptist
Greenock - Morton
Notts County (1946-47)
Kettering Town (1947-48)
Rushden Town (1950-52)
Corby Town (1952-53)
Rushden Town (1955---)
Rushden Town - Manager
Intermediate Old Boys 1940 - George is 4th from left front row

Carol (neice) and Ray Odell brought us a collection of papers from George’s own archive. They include his papers for football contracts, newspaper clips and photographs, and another exercise book of his sister Ada’s verses and music she wrote to go with some of them.

Caterick Camp 1941
Caterick Camp 1941
2377583 Signalman George H Sail is back row - 5th from the left
634 Squadron Royal Signals - L/Cpl Harrison

Letter from Leicester City
Dec11th 1941
Dear George,
Just a line to see how you are situated - have you joined the Forces? if not, are you free to have a game or two with our Colts? I have enclosed a programme of our last 1st Team match, on the back of which you will see the fixtures & results of our three teams, all of whom are on top of their respective Leagues. Our Colts have no match on the 13th (next Sat) but we have games on the 20th (a league match) 25th Xmas day at Nuneaton and 27th friendly at home.

Will you be available for any.

All Good Wishes,
Sincerely yours
T G Bromilow

Letter from Greenock Morton club
The letter from Greenock Morton Football club March 1944.

Dear George,

We have written for permission to play you on Saturday at Coatbridge (Clifton Park). Please report at ground no later than 2.30pm. Major Smith has given permission to sign you as a professional player, we made contact with him this morning, so that everything is O.K.
Give my regards to Billy,
Yours faithfully
James Davies

Professional registration ceritifcate
Professional Registration forms 1943-44 & 1944-45 Seasons
anoth registration document

Letter from Eric Tomkins
123 Newton Road
Feb 18 1946

Dear George,
You'll no doubt be very surprised to hear from me. I noticed in our local paper the Evening Telegraph, that Morton had released you & I immediately calland had a chat with your folk at home on behalf of Notts County F C & Major Buckley. At the outbreak of war I was coach there & hope to go back again for next season. I've told Major Buckley all about you & soon you may be hearing from him. I would very much like to see you there with Major Buckley. I can assure you that you are the type of player he's looking for. Your folk seem pleased with the idea & I hope the prospect appeals likewise to you. I can assure you I will do all I can to help you along. I saw you play at Rushden at the beginning of this season & I'm certain you have a good first class career in front of you, in the right hands. Morton I consider very generous to let you go. I might add that no one in Rushden outside your folk knows of my visit to your home or the object of it & they have promised to keep it confidential. I was hopeful that you had some leave due soon so that I could take you along to Nottingham for a game or two, but I hear you won't be home again till demob about August next.

Well! that is OK for next season & I hope before then that you will have decided to join us. I hope meanwhile you are getting plenty of good football & keeping in trim.

Please treat this as Strictly Confidential. I shall be pleased to hear from you & help you all I can.

Yours ffy

Eric F Tomkins

Champions -Germany 1946
The caption is "Champions -Germany 1946" - George is centre front.

Notts County letter

Dear Sail,

I have just heard from my Friend Mr Eric Tomkins of Rushden (who has been in touch with your parents) that you have got your release from Grenock Morton.

I have much pleasure in offering you a contract with my club at the maximum terms, together with the signing on fee of £10. I may add that your parents agree and are anxious for you to come to Notts County and I assure you - I will do everything in my power to make your career a happy and successful one.

As you will have heard, I took Jesse Pye from the Royal Engineers. Four weeks after he signed professional for me, he was an Internaitional and is now the most talk of player in England. My experience is great & I have made more Internationals than anyone. If you decide to come please write at once and I will send the necessary forms on to you for signature by air. I will immediately send the signing Bonus to your parents or to you if that is permissible.

Your early reply will be greatly esteemed and I assure you, that you will never regret it!

Kindest regards
Yours faithfully

Frank Buckley (Major)
Notts County

Extract from another letter from Major Buckley on 26th Feb 1946: .... being unable to enter into a full time agreement you are entitiled to receive a maximum of £5 for every match in which you play plus a bonus of £2 for a win and £1 for a draw. These terms are the maximum permitted to be paid by any Club at the present time. Immediately upon receiving your discharge from the Army and then being in a position to enter into a full time Agreement I agree to pay you......

Poppy's programme Postcard

A postcard from Kettering asking George to play in a match. No home telephones in those days - 1947.

Poppy's players

Part of the programme sheet for a match on 3rd May 1947. George was playing as No.8.

During his National Service he also assisted Rushden Town as a guest player when on leave in his home town. In 1950 he joined them as a regular player.

In 1952 he signed for Corby FC (Midland League) but 3 years later he was back at Rushden.
The agreement with Corby Letter confirming terms
In the 40th Anniversary book "The Steelmen 1948-1988":

In the close-season 1952 the club signed 16 new players to help them as they went into the Midland League, (including George Sail). In 1953 "On Saturday September 6 Corby drew 1-1 away to Bradford Park Avenue Reserves - Laird scoring the Steelmen goal, and two days later Scunthorpe Reserves were beaten 2-0 at Occupation Road with Garvey and Sail the men on target. Although that was one of only 18 first team games played by Sail during the season he was still considered to be one of the club's biggest assets, his versatility being such that his total included six appearances at left-half, five at inside-right and eight at inside-left. Sail's next goal was the only one of the away clash with Halifax Town Reserves and proved enough to establish the Steelmen at the top of the table.

George Sail made 18 appearances in 1952-3, 13 in 1953-54 and 13 in 1954-55.
He scored 3 goals, 8 goals and 2 goals in those respective seasons.

In 1955 he returned to Rushden as a regular - then manager for two years. In 1960 Rushden v Corby played a Benefit match for George.
Letter from Corby FC Benefit match programme No 1.
When George stopped playing professionally, he joined the Rushden Amateurs. Some years later (1970s) when he was working as a traffic clerk for a haulage company, he said "I had some great times. You don't realise how good they are until you stop playing".

above: a letter and Programme No 1 for the benefit match

Click here to read George Sail part 1

Click here to see another Poppies Player - Gordon Inwood

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