Boro legend George Camsell will be celebrated in a new biography

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A student from Teesside has unearthed fascinating archival documents to shed new light on the life of Middlesbrough and England football legend George Camsell.

Adam Shillaw, a BA (Hons) History student at the University of Teesside, has partnered with Heritage Unlocked as part of a continuous work placement program which helps students develop and use their skills as budding historians.

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Adam focused on Boro legend and England record goalscorer George Camsell and his work will feature in the football great’s first biography.

During the six-week internship, Adam discovered a range of historical material that will be used to help shape the biography on Camsell to be written by Heritage Unlocked historian Dr Tosh Warwick.

Camsell in goal action for Boro, as reported by the North Eastern Daily Gazette

As well as delving into the British Library’s digitized online newspaper archive, the Hartlepool-based student also made regular visits to Middlesbrough Reference Library to research Camsell’s record exploits for Boro in the 1920s and 1930,

He also digitized a selection of documents, including match reports from the North Eastern Daily Gazette and The Northern Echo.

Camsell, who scored an official tally of 345 goals for Boro – although the unofficial tally exceeded 375 goals for the club – was an influential figure in football on and off the pitch.

The Framwellgate Moor-born former Durham City star scored an incredible 59 goals in a season for Middlesbrough, hammered 18 goals in nine England appearances, ran hair cream promotional campaigns, wrote articles for national newspapers and, in his last days, helped discover talent. of a young Brian Clough.

The Northern Echo: Camsell shoots in another Boro goalCamsell fires in another Boro goal

Newly digitized material will be included in the forthcoming book and a selection of materials will be made available digitally on the Heritage Unlocked website.

They will also feature on UTB Middlesbrough FC’s official matchday program next season.

Adam is also the author of a Heritage Unlocked blog about his experience researching the quarry of greater Ayresome Park.

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Dr Warwick, a graduate of the University of Teesside’s MA History program and founder of Heritage Unlocked, said: “Working together with Adam and the University of Teesside has revealed new details and discoveries about the quarry by Camsel.

“The link has received a lot of support from staff at Middlesbrough Reference Library and the wider project has been a genuine collaborative effort with the Camsell family, Teesside Archives, Middlesbrough Libraries, the Middlesbrough football, artists and collectors.

Echo of the North: Adam Shillaw and Tosh WarwickAdam Shillaw and Tosh Warwick

“Adam’s work will help present the story of George Camsell both as a footballing legend on the pitch and as a loyal and highly respected figure who was involved with Middlesbrough FC from the mid-1920s until ‘retired in the 1960s in a number of roles’.

Adam said: “As I researched his accomplishments and digitized his archives, the legend of Camsell brought new respect for what he was able to accomplish, although he myself was not a big football fan.

“By helping to uncover some of the historical material from Camsell’s incredible career, the research I have conducted will hopefully help celebrate his achievements more widely and has also helped develop my research and technical skills in as a budding historian.”

Adam Shillaw’s article and a selection of recently digitized documents can be viewed at heritageunlocked.com/features.

The Northern Echo: Shillaw's research into Camsell helped reveal more about Camsell beyond his goalscoring exploits, including his billiards prowessShillaw’s research into Camsell helped reveal more about Camsell beyond his goalscoring exploits – including his billiards prowess

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