Unable to defend their 1914/15 league title for four years owing to the interruption of war, Everton struggled to regain top form when peace came and the 1919/20 season ensued. By the start of 1920, the champions found themselves as low as 13th and the Everton board rang the changes. Scottish defender George Brewster was at the heart of their rebuilding plans and a boardroom delegation were dispatched to Aberdeen to sign him. Vested with the authority to spend ‘£200–300 either side of £2000’ they got their man for a club record fee of £2400.
On Merseyside relief greeted his arrival. ‘He is a veritable giant as footballers go, standing 6ft high and weighing 13 stone,’ reported the Liverpool Courier. ‘Twenty-five years of age Brewster is probably one of the finest if not the best middle man playing in Scotland. He has been playing centre half with Aberdeen, but he is a most versatile exponent of the code, and can fill most positions on the field. He is not only a fine defender, but also looks after the wants of the front line, beside which he can shoot when the opportunity arise, and in this respect has scored several goals for Aberdeen. Everton have made a really great capture.’
Brewster had initially been reluctant to join Everton and at first he struggled to adapt to the English game, making just five appearances during the remainder of the 1919/20 season. His form improved considerably at the start of the 1920/21 campaign, despite facing a month-long suspension for a sending off against Huddersfield Town in October. When Everton beat Newcastle in an FA Cup third round tie, the ‘formidable’ half back line he formed with Tom Fleetwood and Louis Weller was praised. ‘They had a capital understanding with the forwards, and assisted them with excellent constructive play.’ Brewster, believed the Liverpool Courier, ‘was the mainstay of the halves, his breaking up being good while he also shot at times with force and precision’.
At the start of the 1922/23 season, Brewster was awarded the captaincy, but this precipitated a dramatic decline in fortunes. Everton’s form was poor and the captain was singled out for criticism. ‘Brewster failed to touch his best form save in heading,’ reported the Daily Post after a 2-0 defeat at Tottenham. ‘Perhaps the cares of captaincy bother him. Whatever it was he started ill at ease, and never really became a constructive half back.’ Twelve days later Everton fell to a 5-1 defeat at Blackburn. Brewster was dropped and never played for the first team again.
Scarcely a month later the Everton directors were hawking their captain around, attempting to swap him for Airdrieonians’ centre back, Jock McDougall. Brewster played on for the reserves, even keeping goal in the Central League derby after Ernie Salt was injured. His heroics helped earn Everton a 3-2 win.
In November 1922 Everton accepted a £3250 bid from Wolverhampton Wanderers for Brewster and Stan Fazackerley. He later dropped down to non-league football, then spent time in the US coaching, before a spell as manager of Inverness Caledonian.