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G.O. Smith - Alfred Gibson & William Pickford
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2021-02-01 20:21:12
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Afirst-class centre-forward is as rare to find as a white blackbird. Yet there is almost as great a difference between a mere first-class centre and a centre of the highest calibre as there is between between a cab-horse and a race-horse. One can count the great centre-forwards of the past decade on the fingers of one hand. Since the days of Archie Hunter whom have we had? only five - J. Campbell of Sunderland, J. Goodall of Derby County and Watford, R.S. McColl now of Glasgow Rangers and G.O. Smith. The greatest of these is G.O. Smith. One day we may probably have to add the name of Vivian Woodward to the illustrious list, but for the present those men are almost in a class by themselves.
If one were asked to say in a word the strong point of G.O. Smith's play, one would have to say, "Passing." Great in all the qualities which go to make up the man who is the keystone of the arch of a team, it was in making and receiving passes that he excelled all others. And it was in making the final pass that he was most deadly. No defender, however experienced, could anticipate what he was going to do. He had an instinct for throwing the enemy off his guard, and at the same time of doing the right thing in the right way at the right moment. He was such a deadly shot that he could not be allowed to dribble too close to the goal. If one back went for him he would pass to the undefended wing with unfailing accuracy and promptitude.
Some men have been able to shoot as well - none better. A few other centres gave been more resolute in making a single-handed dash for goal but no man that ever took the field garnered as large a crop of goals, directly or indirectly, as G.O. Smith. He studied the game as few men have done. He brought a fine intellect to bear upon it in its every aspect and the fruit of his study is represented by the many victories for his club - the Corinthians - and his country.
He was beloved of all professional players with whom he came in contact and when he captained English International teams no man found the paid player try harder. By his own particular chums he was adored. I remember him as a very young man before he had made a worldwide reputation, saying that even if he was a millionaire he would still play football. The Association game has never had a greater ornament and I venture to think that so long as the game is played the name and fame of G.O. Smith will endure.
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