A fine keeper, who was tall with a strong build to repel the physical approaches by attacking players allowed in his day and one who showed no fear in going for the ball, George Clawley's sheer presence gave the defenders in front of him great confidence. He made some good saves in the 1901 FA Cup Final to keep Spurs in the match, but might be best remembered for the controversial goal that took the final to a replay.
George was snapped up by local side Crewe Alexandra, for whom he played three Second Division matches before Stoke spotted him and he joined the struggling First Division side. Helping them stay up via the play-offs, his second season with the Potters was more successful and things looked good for him at the Victoria Ground, but Southampton were an up and coming side in the Southern League who tempted him to move to Hampshire.
Made captain of the side, the talented keeper skippered them to the Southern League titles of 1897 and 1898, but returned nearer home to Stoke, where he was again made captain and was an ever-present in their side that season. George became noted for coming for crosses and for acting as a sweeper, whereas that job had always been left to defenders previously. His skill in goal was noted with appearances for Hampshire and he was chosen for the Southern League representative side, but the closest he got to international hnours was a 1903 trial match for England when with Spurs.
And it was in 1899 when Clawley came to Tottenham and was unfortunate to break his leg in his early days of the first season with the club, but he recovered to make nine appearances in the Southern League title winning side of 1900, sharing goalkeeping duties with David Haddow and he went on to play in the successful FA Cup winning side the following season.
His most famous moment came in the final. In saving a shot from Lipsham, George fumbled the ball and grabbed it and was ready to kick it upfield, when he saw the referee running back to the centre circle having given a goal, as the lineman indicated the ball had gone out for a corner. The debatable moment in the match was caught on camera, but there were no action replays in those days, so the tale was told when the films made it to the newsreels in the cinema. Luckily, he was less in the news for the second game, where Spurs triumphed 3-1 to become the first non-league club (and still the only one) to win the trophy.
A good servant for the club, George was a regular in the side for nearly two seasons and his secure keeping helped the side achieve great strides forward. But Clawley moved back to Southampton in 1903, winning the Southern League once more with the Saints in 1904 and staying there until he retired from the game in 1907.
George Clawley died on 16th July 1920.