Peter Beardsley

Position Striker or Midfield
Playing career 1983-1987, 1993-97
Height 5' 8"
Born Newcastle upon Tyne, 18th January 1961

To many United supporters of the modern generation, Peter Beardsley is recognised as the best player to have pulled on the black and white shirt. And without doubt the locally born striker ranks with the most eminent of men to have played for the club in its long history.

Although Peter spent several of his most productive years away from St James Park, on Merseyside with Liverpool and Everton, he never lost his passion for his native Tyneside and boyhood idols, Newcastle United.

A brilliant little player, slight of build, who in his role operating just behind the front strikers has proved devastating at both creating and scoring goals, netting over 230 up to the summer of 1996. Possessing lovely ball skills and marvellous vision, as well as tremendous stamina, enthusiasm and work-rate, above all Beardsley has the special quality of finding the net with truly spectacular goals - over and over again.

Rarely does he convert a chance by ordinary means. Many come from stunning long range shooting, splendid placement, precision timing or delightful dribbles. With over 100 goals registered for the Magpies the majority are worthy of monthly or even seasonal awards, such are their quality.

Beardsley has in fact appeared on United's books in three spells, being released by Bill McGarry as a teenager when at Gallowgate on trial. He also had spells with Gillingham, Cambridge United, Burnley and Oxford before he was picked up by former Newcastle skipper Bob Moncur, manager at Carlisle, and Peter proceeded to make a name for himself at Brunton Park, a gem among the rough and tumble of Third Division football.

He developed further in the United States calypso and had all of 78 minutes of senior football in a five month trial at Old Trafford before being released. Arthur Cox brought him back to the north east to partner Kevin Keegan as Newcastle made sure they returned to Division One in spectacular fashion in 1983.

Beardsley's captivating brand of football matured and he became an England regular, an effective partner to Gary Lineker. Peter once netted four goals for his country in an unofficial match against Aylesbury, and he captained England as well as appearing in the final stages of two World Cups, in 1986 and 1990.

But Peter clashed with United boss Jack Charlton and the club's stagnation meant he was off to Anfield in search of trophies for a new British record deal.

Honours duly came and Beardsley was noted as one of the country's top entertainers, yet following the arrival of new boss, Graeme Souness at Liverpool, he moved across Stanley Park to Everton where he again became a crowd favourite.

When Beardsley was 32 years old, he made a dramatic return to St James Park for £1.5m, a fee which proved to be the bargain of the decade. Back alongside Kevin Keegan and later Arthur Cox too, Peter led United's charge on the Premiership as he enjoyed a new lease of life.

Now an experienced head went with his all round ability and he skippered the Magpies as they became a new force in the game. With the arrival of John Barnes and Ian Rush on Tyneside Peter moved to Bolton in August 1997 but failed to break into the Wanderers first team and after falling out with Bolton boss, Colin Todd, found himself on loan to Manchester City before joining Kevin Keegan's Fulham.

He later had a spell with Division Three side Hartlepool United and is now happily back at St. James' Park, coaching in the United Academy set-up. United's most capped player for England with 59 appearances, Peter was awarded the MBE for his services to football in 1995 and just missed out on the Footballer of the Year award the previous year.

Nicknamed 'Pedro' by his colleagues, Peter Beardsley is a matchwinner supreme, a genius in football boots who always has time for the fans.

Debut

v Barnsley (a) 24/9/83 (sub)

Appearances

Football/Premier League 272 (4) apps 108 gls
FA Cup 17 apps 3 gls
FL Cup 21 apps 4 gls
Euro 10 apps 4 gls
Others 1 app 0 gls
Total 321 (4) apps 119 gls

Honours

59 Eng caps 1986 - 96
2 Eng B caps 1991-92
1 FL Cup app 1988
FL Champion 1988, 1990
FL Div 2 Promotion 1984
FL Cup winner 1989