More About George
The following are excerpts from articles about George from the Chicago Tribune and West Africa Magazine.
Chicago Tribune: STING FEATURE: The Quick and the Deadly… George Lamptey
Chicago Sting fans need no game program to identify big George Lamptey. He is usually one of the biggest players on the field at 6”2”, 180 pounds, and he doesn’t run he lopes with giant strides that seem to swallow up the ground. He hurls himself through the air as if the laws of gravity no longer apply, and when he goes in for a tackle, those long, muscular legs uncoil with lightning speed as they break up the onrushing attack. He’s called the “Man with the Telescopic Legs” and one look at George Lamptey on defense will show he has earned the moniker.
Away from the soccer field, the Ghana-born Lamptey is a mild mannered,friendly fellow with a quick smile and a love for people. He is especially warm and giving with small children and seems to attract a following of kids similar to the Pied Piper of Hamlin. Yet on the field there is no defender in the North American Soccer League as dedicated and deadly. When scoring star Steve David of Los Angeles (Aztecs) had the Sting reeling, it was big George who accepted the defensive assignment and kept Steve David not only away from the goal, but flat on his back for the better part of the half. When the Sting led the Cosmos 2-1 and Pele began to get loose, in came Lamptey and the mighty Pele was not heard from for the remainder of the game.
George did such a forceful job on ex-Sting teammate Geof Davies, the San Jose (Earthquakes) star managed to play only the first half before being pulled.
There just is no player that big George can’t handle. And there is no doubting the contribution he has made to Chicago’s defense whenever called up.
West Africa Magazine, 29th January- 4th February 2001
Ask Pele, Paul Childs, (Gerd Muller, Nene Cubilias, Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckanbauer, and of course, Easy Perez), any of those guys from the North American Soccer League, and they will tell you they remember George Lamptey” Says the Ghanian who defended against them in the late 1970’s. In fact, another NASL Alumnus approached him at a recent Major League Soccer combine (in Florida) and rolled up a trouser leg to reveal an ancient scar for which he claims Lamptey was responsible. His response? “Hey I was just trying to make a living”, he laughs. The former defender makes his living in a number of ways these days, nearly 20 years after his playing career ended. He is a coach, scout,and President of Lamptey Sports Foundation, an organization which provides opportunity for underprivileged young people: and a partner in the Global Management Group, which acts as an agent for players in Africa. Lamptey’s persona is so amiable and charming these days that it is hard to believe he was such a feared defender in a North American career that spanned several cities and two leagues- indoor and outdoor- in a six-year period.
One of Lamptey’s most memorable goals (as a sweeper he did score a few) came against another legend, the Mozambique-born Eusebio, the famed “Black Panther” who made his reputation for Portugal in the 1966 World Cup and for the club side Benefica before ending his playing days in the NASL. “there was a corner kick, and I jumped, and Eusebio leaned into me with his shoulder, which pushed me even higher in the air, I headed the ball in!” laughs Lamptey “He shouted: “you used me!””
With his still fit 6'2" frame he admits that he still feels the urge to run on the pitch sometimes and repel the opposing attack. If he does, strikers beware. “They called me the Telescopic Leg’ because I only had to take two or three strides and I was on the ball”, Lamptey recalls. “And I always got the ball” Always? His eyes shine and he emits a rumbling belly laugh: "well, most of the time!”
George is co-author of an instructional soccer book:
The Ten Bridges to Professional Soccer
And the producer of an instructional video:
Youth All-Star Instructional Video