A product of the famous Wallsend Boys' Club, Peter Beardsley was a hugely skilful goalscorer and expert goal provider throughout his long and successful playing career. The highlights of which included winning two First Division titles, one FA Cup and gaining International honours with England at the highest level.
(Peter Beardsley is pictured above, representing the Newcastle United Home team in the Football Aid 2010 game at St James’ Park)
Beardsley began his professional career with Carlisle United in 1979, before joining the Canadian club Vancouver Whitecaps two years later. There then followed a tale of “the one that got away” for Manchester United fans, Beardsley was signed by Ron Atkinson in 1982, but he only played once for the club and was allowed to return to Vancouver shortly after on a free transfer. However it wasn’t long before Beardsley made the move that truly kick-started his career.
Beardsley signed for his hometown club Newcastle United in 1983 for £150,000 and enjoyed instant success, scoring 20 league goals in a thrilling forward partnership with Kevin Keegan and helping the club gain promotion to the top Division in his debut season. Beardsley’s excellent form continued and his impressive goal scoring form helped earn him International recognition in 1986.
By now some of the biggest clubs in the game were on his trail and in 1987 he joined in the footsteps of former strike partner Keegan by joining Merseyside giants Liverpool for a then British record fee of £1.9m. He enjoyed a hugely successful spell at Anfield, linking up with Ian Rush, John Aldridge and John Barnes in a lethal attack that helped the club win two league titles and the FA Cup in 3 seasons. However with a squad overhaul underway Beardsley made the short trip across the city to join rivals Everton in 1991. Despite the club’s mid-table status his excellent form continued at Goodison Park and he was lured back to his hometown club at the age of 32 for the not inconsiderable fee of £1.5m.
Newcastle United had just won promotion under the management of Kevin Keegan and Beardsley was to become a pivotal figure as the club challenged for honours at the highest level, with the highlight of his 2nd spell at the club coming in 1995-6 when he captained the club to 2nd place in the Premier League. As well as scoring freely, Beardsley continued to be a hugely impressive creative force in a spell which, despite his advancing years, was arguably the most effective of his career. Beardsley left the Magpies at the age of 36 to join Bolton Wanderers in 1997 and went on to play for Fulham, Manchester City and Hartlepool United, before ending his playing days with a short spell at Melbourne Knights.
It was no surprise that a player as talented as Beardsley enjoyed great success at International level as well. Making his debut against Egypt in January 1986, he went on to win 59 caps, scoring 9 goals and appeared at the World Cup Finals in 1986 and 1990 and at Euro '88. Beardsley forged a key partnership with Gary Lineker up front and demonstrated nerves of steel to score from the spot against West Germany in the WC Semi-final shoot-out in 1990.
Since his retirement from playing, Beardsley has mainly been involved with his Home town club in a coaching capacity, passing on his wealth of experience at the club’s impressive Academy, and his considerable coaching skills were acknowledged in July 2010 when he was appointed Reserve Team Manager.
In October 2010 we were delighted to be informed that Peter had accepted our invitation to act as our Newcastle United Club Ambassador. It is a huge honour to have him onboard, as he’s proven to be a fantastic supporter of our organisation over the years, playing in our matches at St James’ Park on numerous occasions, treating the fans to a master class of his skills in each and every appearance. The thrill of playing alongside such a special player was summed up by one of our supporters in 2010, “To have Peter Beardsley playing alongside me was absolutely amazing and I will never forget the way he played. Just like in his heyday.”