Record-breaking South American footballers honoured at Barnsley home

WATCH: Video report by ITV Calendar reporter Chris Dawkes, who visited West Melton today to see the Robledo brothers honoured at the home they grew up in.

Welcoming a Chilean family to their mining community in 1932, the village of West Melton knew little of the significance of the arrival of Jorge and Eduardo Robledo. The brothers paved the way for today's household names Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and fellow countryman Alexis Sanchez. Now a plaque has been placed on their childhood home to acknowledge their indelible mark on english football.

A trail blazing 6,500 mile journey saw them leave their father behind as infants at a turbulent time for Chile under a dictatorship. Arriving with their english mother in West Melton, they enrolled in the local school under their anglicised names George and Ted.

They became the first South Americans to play professionally for a British team when they signed for Barnsley FC. Starting his working life down the pit, Elder brother George held the record for the most top division goals scored by a foreigner for over 50 years until Dwight Yorke's arrival at Aston Villa in the 1990's.

The plaque was unveiled by George's daughter Elizabeth

Barnsley FC's official historian David Wood grew up on the same streets and was fascinated by Robledo tales as a child. He said: "As a Barnsley fan, a product of West Melton village and Brampton Ellis school I was brought up on stories of the Robledo brothers. George broke all goalscoring records at his school."

While both siblings went on to play continental finals for Chile, it was George who burst onto the scene first ahead of his younger brother. Working in a Yorkshire coal mine while playing at Huddersfield Town, he was able to turn professional after signing for Barnsley.

Scoring a hat-trick for the Tykes on the day football resumed after World War Two, George went on to face England's Alf Ramsey, Stan Mortensen and Tom Finney in the 1950 World Cup.

A couple of players in Newcastle's triumphant 1952 FA Cup winning side had Yorkshire accents as they lined up against Arsenal at Wembley. Often under the shadow of his brother, Ted starred that season but his brother scored the only goal of the game to write himself into Magpie folklore alongside strike partner Jackie Milburn.

George Robledo scoring for Newcastle United against Arsenal in the 1952 FA Cup final. Credit: PA

George's daughter Elizabeth Robledo arrived in South Yorkshire to unveil the plaque in front of a crowd of Barnsley and Newcastle United supporters. She said: "My father would be very honoured. He would talk to me about the South Yorkshire countryside and the beautiful people and the school and Barnsley football club."

Club historian Wood added: "I am delighted to see a permanent memorial unveiled on the Barnsley Road property that saw two local lads take their footballing talent to the national and International stage. Not bad for a lad brought up in the South Yorkshire coalfields."

Elizabeth Robledo with the plaque commemorating her father and uncl

Having followed his brother to Newcastle from Barnsley, Ted's move to Chilean giants Colo-Colo was mirrored by George with the pair still revered to this day.

Chilean football expert Adam Brandon said: "The relevance of the brothers, especially with George being a forward that couldn't speak Spanish when he first came over, was restored when Ben Brereton-Diaz became a big hit with the national team in the past year.

"That sparked many articles about the history of the brothers and their dedication in training at Colo-Colo brought the professionalism of the squad up.

Both brothers were well liked and stars, often asked to events and ceremonies, I think Ted opened the offices of NASA in Chile for example although of the two Ted was considered quite quiet with George very much the leader of the two."