Peter Sillett

Peter Sillett

Infobox Football biography
playername = Peter Sillett

fullname = Peter Richard Tudor Sillett
height =
nickname =
dateofbirth = birth date|1933|2|1|df=y
cityofbirth = Southampton
countryofbirth = England
dateofdeath = death date and age|1998|3|13|1933|2|1|df=y
cityofdeath = Ashford, Kent
countryofdeath = England
currentclub =
clubnumber =
position = Full-back
youthyears =
youthclubs =
years = 1951–1953
clubs = Southampton
caps(goals) = 059 0(4)
260 (29)
nationalyears = 1965-1970
nationalteam = England
nationalcaps(goals) = 003 0(0)
manageryears = 1965–1973
managerclubs = Ashford Town
Hastings United
Hastings Town

Peter Richard Sillett (1 February, 1933 – 13 March 1998) was an English footballer. He played for Chelsea and Southampton as a right back.

He was the older brother of John Sillett, who managed Coventry City to FA Cup success in 1987. Sir Stanley Matthews once said that Sillett was the best full-back he ever played against.


Peter was the son of Charlie Sillett (who was a full-back with Southampton from 1931-1938) and inherited his father’s skills. He joined the Saints in January 1949 and soon afterwards gained England Youth recognition.

Extremely well-built, he weighed over 13 stone when only 18. Peter matured quickly into a full-back of some distinction.

In 1953, while he was doing his National Service in the RAF he came up against Stanley Matthews when Saints took Blackpool, the eventual winners, to an FA Cup replay.

Unfortunately, Southampton were facing mounting debts and, with this fact known to many of the country’s top clubs, it wasn’t too long before Sillett, together with his younger brother John, was ‘induced’ to join Ted Drake's Chelsea, for a fee of £12,000.

In his two seasons at The Dell, he made 59 appearances and scored 4 goals.


Sillett signed for Chelsea in 1953 and became club's established full-back when fit. A strong defender with a powerful shot, he scored 34 goals for Chelsea, an unusually high tally for a full-back in that era, and is acclaimed for scoring what is widely perceived as the 1954–55 title-winning goal. During a match against Chelsea's principal rivals, Wolves on Easter Saturday 1955 in front of a crowd of 75,043, Chelsea were awarded a penalty with that game at 0–0 after Wolves captain Billy Wright had handled the ball in the penalty area. Sillett stepped up to take it and nervelessly smashed the ball past goalkeeper Bert Williams to give Chelsea a 1–0 win and complete a league double over Wolves, one of five goals he netted in the run-in. Chelsea went on to wrap up the title in their next home game, against Sheffield Wednesday.

Playing in London, Peter continued to attract rave notices and England Under-23 caps were followed by his first full international against France in May 1955. He also turned out for the representative London XI in the 1955-58 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup alongside Chelsea team mates Ken Armstrong, Derek Saunders and Jim Lewis, during which the side reached the final, though they lost on aggregate to FC Barcelona

He remained with Chelsea until June 1962, when new manager Tommy Docherty made a series of sweeping changes to the playing squad, and made a total 288 appearances for Chelsea.


Sillett was also an England international, winning three caps, and was in England’s squad for the 1958 FIFA World Cup.

Later career

He moved to Guildford City in 1962 and from 1965 to 1973 was player-manager at Ashford Town before arthritis forced him to quit the game, although he continued as manager/coach for various clubs until 1987.

In 1998, he died aged 65 after a long battle against cancer.


*First Division championship (1954-55)
*FA Charity Shield (1955)


*cite book | author=Duncan Holley & Gary Chalk | title=The Alphabet of the Saints| publisher= ACL & Polar Publishing | year=1992| id=ISBN 0-9514862-3-3

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