George ‘Jorge’ Pattullo was described as the “finest British player to have ever played for FC Barcelona” in the official club magazine Barca in May, following extensive research on the player’s career by The Scotsman. Interest has since grown in the Scot, who was also awarded a Military Cross for bravery while serving during the First World War.
Now, just a week after another scoring sensation, RS McColl, was inducted in the Scottish Football Hall of Fame, Pattullo’s heroics are in line to be saluted at Hampden. McColl scored three hat-tricks for Scotland at the end of the 19th Century. Pattullo made similar waves in Spain, once scoring six times in a single game for Barcelona against Internacional.
Steve Archibald was the next Scot to make his name at the club, over 70 years later. Pattullo’s exploits were obscured due to misspellings of his name and an early assumption that he was English.
Indeed, in the first major history of Barcelona, published in 1949, he is referred to as “al ingles Patullo”. However, in a recently published book on the great goalscorers in the club’s history by Angel Iturriaga, Pattullo is afforded a major section.
“There is no bigger club in the world than Barcelona,” said Richard McBrearty, of the Scottish Football Museum. “A Scot didn’t just play for them, he was a leading light. A club like Barcelona will reflect very proudly on the pioneers who made their club great.
“We have a hall of fame in the ‘Scots Away’ gallery at the museum, which honours those who left Scotland and made their mark in football elsewhere in the early years. Judging from what we now know, Pattullo will walk right into it for helping make Barcelona the club they have since become.”
Born in Glasgow in 1888 Pattullo’s work as a coal merchant took him to Barcelona. His favourite sport was tennis and he initially featured in the local Catalan newspapers for his achievements with a racket. However, after scoring five times for an ex-pats side against a university team he came to the attention of Barcelona.
He made his debut for the club in 1910 and scored an incredible 39 goals in his first full season. In March 1912 he was enticed back from Scotland to play one last competitive fixture for the club, who were set to face city rivals Espanyol in the semi-finals of the Copa Pirineos, one of the first international football competitions.
The Scot returned to score twice, including the winner in extra -time.
“We need artefacts of his time with Barcelona,” said McBrearty. “Coverage like this is a godsend to the museum. It heightens the likelihood of someone connected to ‘Jorge’ coming back and contacting us.”