- Peter Beardsley
Football player infobox
playername = Peter Beardsley
fullname = Peter Andrew Beardsley
dateofbirth = birth date and age|1961|1|18|df=y
Newcastle upon Tyne
youthclubs = Newcastle United
years = 1979–1982
clubs = Carlisle United
→ Manchester City (loan)
Doncaster Rovers Total
caps(goals) = 104 0(22)
022 00(0) 763 (238)
nationalyears = 1991–1992
nationalteam = England B
nationalcaps(goals) = 002 0(0)
manageryears = Years
managerclubs = Club
England "(assistant manager)"
Peter Andrew Beardsley MBE (born
18 January 1961, Newcastle upon Tyne) is a renowned English former footballer of the 1980s and 1990s, who once set a record transfer fee in the game and represented his country 59 times between 1986 and 1996, once as captain.
A product of the famous
Wallsend Boys Clubin North Tyneside, Beardsley was released as a teenager by hometown club Newcastle United but found his way back there in 1983 after successful spells with Carlisle United (126 appearances scoring 26 goals) and Canadian NASL outfit Vancouver Whitecaps, who signed him from Carlisle for £275,000 on 1 April 1982. He had also played the 1981 summer season with Vancouver. He stayed there for just over five months before Manchester United came looking to bring him back to England. His only appearance came in a League Cup against Bournemouth in the autumn of 1982.
Beardsley rejoined Vancouver on a free transfer on
1 March 1983but again his stay was a short one. He was on the move once again on 23 September 1983, this time to rejoin Newcastle.
Beardsley signed for Newcastle for a fee of £150,000, although when they had let him go earlier they could have signed him for nothing. The pacey, incisive and skillful forward made his debut for the Magpies the day after he signed,
24 September, in the 1–1 2nd division draw with Barnsley at Oakwell. Beardsley was an instant hit with the Newcastle supporters, scoring and setting up spectacular goals. He went on to celebrate promotion with his team-mates, who were captained by Kevin Keeganin his final season as a player. They finished in the final promotion spot behind winners Chelsea and runners-up Sheffield Wednesday.
Beardsley scored his first goal for the Magpies on
19 October1983 in their 2–0 victory over Cardiff City at Ninian Park. His first goals at St James' Parkcame in Newcastle's next fixture, against Manchester City. United beat City 5–1 and Beardsley scored his first ever hat-trick.
In his first season in the First Division division, Beardsley scored 17 goals in 38 league games as Newcastle finished in 14th position. During the following campaign he played in all of Newcastle's 42 league matches, scoring 19 goals. In one fixture against West Ham United, Beardsley ended the game as a stand-in goalkeeper. The game ended in an 8-1 defeat for Newcastle, with Beardsley concededing the last 3 goals.
Upon returning from the World Cup, Beardsley helped Newcastle to another mid-table finish (11th), scoring 11 goals in 27 appearances, and won a further six caps for his country, before Liverpool manager
Kenny Dalglishsought Beardsley's signature. The offer was too good to refuse with Liverpool then involved in an intense battle for domestic supremacy with bitter rivals Everton, so after making 164 appearances and scoring 61 goals for Newcastle (all in the league), Beardsley swapped the black and white stripes of Newcastle for the red of Liverpool.
Liverpool paid an English record transfer fee of £1.9 million to bring Beardsley to
Anfieldon 14 July 1987. He was signed at the same time as John Barnes, the Watford winger who would be voted PFA Player of the Yearfor the 1987-88 season. They were added to John Aldridge, who had signed during the previous campaign, with the three tearing Arsenal apart on Beardsley's debut at Highburyfor Aldo to score after just nine minutes of the opening day of the 1987–88 season, 15 August 1987. Liverpool went on to win 2–1 and this would shape the rest of the season for the Reds.
Beardsley's first goal for his new club came on
29 August1987 in the 4–1 victory over Coventry City at Highfield Road, with Beardsley scoring in the 83rd minute. He helped Liverpool to a record-equalling 29 league matches undefeated as Liverpool convincingly strolled to the League title. Beardsley became a darling of the Kop, scoring goals and making plenty more as the side suffered only two League defeats all season. However, there was disappointment at the end when Wimbledon denied them the 'double' with a shock 1–0 win in the FA Cupfinal, a game in which Beardsley "scored", only for it to be ruled out by the referee who awarded Liverpool a free-kick for an earlier foul instead of allowing play to continue.
Liverpool returned to Wembley and won the FA Cup the following year, but lost their League championship with virtually the last kick of the last game of the season against Arsenal. They did win the championship again in 1990, but Beardsley had gradually found himself falling out of favour with manager Kenny Dalglish, who bought Israeli international Ronny Rosenthal to replace him during the title run-in. With the reds foundations by now crumbling fast, Beardsley was replaced by
David Speediein late 1990, just two months before Dalglish's resignation as manager.
During Beardsley's Anfield career he played in 175 matches and scored 59 goals, but it was his vision, guile and all action style of play that endeared him to the Anfield faithful, so much so he was voted in 19th position in the 2006 poll
100 Players Who Shook The Kop, conducted by the [http://www.liverpoolfc.tv official Liverpool Football Club web site] ; over 110,000 supporters worldwide voted for their 10 favourite players of all time.
In June 1991, Liverpool signed Derby striker
Dean Saundersand despite the departure of David Speedie, Beardsley's first-team chances at Anfieldwere looking slimmer than ever, and a transfer from Anfieldseemed inevitable.
Liverpool's derby rivals, Everton succeeded in gaining 30-year-old Beardsley's signature when he joined them on
5 August 1991for a fee of £1 million. He made his debut on 17 Augustin a 2–1 defeat to Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
Beardsley crossed the city to join Everton, a move which would normally incur the antipathy of the Liverpool supporters. However, he was forgiven because the fans were unhappy that Beardsley had not been retained and blamed the club, rather than the player. He played well and scored freely for the blue half of
Merseyside, though Everton never achieved anything greater than a mid table finish in the league during his time there.
During this two-spell he became, along with David Johnson one of only two players to have scored for both sides in a
The one thing all Evertonians agree on is that they never had Beardsley in their side long enough and wished he had joined them sooner. He finished as the club's top scorer by the end of his first season at
Goodison Parkand again showed his dynamic quality during his second season, but off the field Everton were suffering financial difficulties and when former club Newcastle offered Everton 1.5 million for Beardsley it was a sum they couldn't turn down.
After just 95 matches for Everton, scoring 32 goals, he was on his way back to his home town club Newcastle.
Return to Newcastle
16 July 1993, Beardsley re-joined Newcastle for £1.4million, where his old team-mate and strike partner Kevin Keeganwas manager. Newcastle had just won promotion to the Premier Leagueas Division One champions, and in 1993-94 they finished third and qualified for the UEFA Cup, with Beardsley scoring a total of 25 goals and his strike-partner Andy Colescoring a club record of 41 goals in all competitions. He played for a further four years at the club, almost captaining them to the FA Premier Leaguetitle in 1996, but they were pipped to the title by Manchester United.
During his second spell at St James' Park he racked up 157 appearances and scored 56 goals, bringing his overall total after two spells with the club to 321 appearances and 117 goals. This equates to a goal every 2¾ matches, a decent ratio for a player who was seen by many as a provider rather than a goalscorer. It is this period of his career that Beardsley regards as the time when he peaked. In this second spell, along with strike partner
Andy Coleand Cole's eventual successor Alan Shearer, Beardsley was a founding member of the Newcastle teams known as "The Entertainers".
Later career and retirement
He left Newcastle on
18 August 1997for £450,000, joining Bolton Wanderers, where he made 21 appearances but was unable to save them from being relegated from the Premier League. He then went on loan to Manchester City, where he played six times. This loan spell made Beardsley the only player to play for both top flight teams in Liverpool and Manchester.
He then moved to Fulham, where he made 28 appearances in two separate loan spells, eventually signing for them permanently. He then went to Hartlepool United on a free transfer, and played 22 times. Doncaster Rovers were his last English side, with Beardsley playing for them 22 times before leaving them on the
30 November 1999. At this stage they were in the Nationwide Conference.
He finally ended his career at the age of 38 when he played twice for the
Melbourne Knightsin Australia, achieving a yellowcard in one game for wearing his shorts backwards, only noticed in injury timeby the refereeFact|date=February 2008.
In 2003 Beardsley was the subject of a
Premier Leagueinquiry, after it was claimed that he had bullied two Newcastle United youth players. He was cleared of the charges. [cite news
title=Beardsley cleared of bullying
accessdate=2007-09-08] Beardsley left Newcastle in 2006, when
Glenn Roedertook over as permanent manager of the club. He believed Newcastle should go in a different direction. Beardsley now works in a media role at the club.In 2007, his former boss at Everton Howard Kendallstated he was interested in taking over as manager of the Republic of Ireland National Team with Beardsley as his assistant. Beardsley was also linked with a return to Newcastle in January 2008 when Kevin Keeganreturned as manager for a second spellFact|date=February 2008.
During his first spell at Newcastle, Beardsley became a regular in the England side and teamed up with
striker Gary Lineker, who described Beardsley as "the best partner I could ever have".
Ironically, it was Lineker who made way for Beardsley when manager
Bobby Robsongave him his debut as a substitute on 29 January 1986in the 4–0 friendly victory over Egypt in Cairo. His first goal came in his fourth appearance, on 17 May 1986in the 3–0 friendly win over Mexico in Los Angeles.
Having only made his debut in January 1986, Beardsley's performances for England won him a call-up for the 1986 World Cup finals in
Mexico. England scored seven goals in the tournament, of which Lineker scored six (winning the Golden Boot for doing so); the other goal came from Beardsley in a 3–0 victory over Paraguay in the second round. England had failed to score a goal in the first two matches of the finals, but in the third match – Beardsley's first start in the tournament – they beat Poland 3–0. Beardsley contributed in that match with a spectacular cross to Steve Hodge, which allowed Hodge to make England's second goal for Lineker.
Despite falling out of favour in the Liverpool line-up, he maintained his place in the England team and featured in both
Euro 88and the 1990 World Cup. He was given the honour of captaining England on 17 February 1988when they drew 0-0 in a friendly with Israel.
During his second spell at Newcastle Beardsley was recalled to the England team, and ultimately ended his international career while still at Newcastle in 1996, after gaining 59 caps and scoring 9 goals.
In 1995, Beardsley was awarded the MBE for services to the game. He is married with a daughter and a son. Beardsely totally abstains from alcohol because, as he said in an interview, he doesn't like the taste of it. He was terrified of swimming until he recently overcame his fear.
Steve Davisonce played a frame of snookerwith Peter for Comic Relief that raised £1,000. Beardsley makes regular appearances for charity in the North East, reminiscing on his time at Newcastle, at football talk-ins.
Beardsley is briefly mentioned in the
Red Dwarfepisode "Better Than Life" as the star of the (fictional) remakeversion of the film "Casablanca". He is also mentioned in the song "My Book" by the band Beautiful South.
Football League First Division(Level 1) 1987/88 and 1989/90 FA Cup1988/89 Charity Shield1988/89, 1989/90 and 1990/91 Football League Second Division(Level 3) 1998/99
Notes and references
* [http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/team/past_players/players/beardsley/ Official Liverpool FC profile]
* [http://www.lfchistory.net/player_profile.asp?player_id=264 Profile at LFCHistory.net]
* [http://www.nationalfootballmuseum.com/halloffame.htm English Football Hall of Fame]
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