Born and bred in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Peter Beardsley achieved his childhood ambition of representing his local club – and with some distinction too, racking up 117 goals from 321 appearances during two, four-year spells at St James’ Park.
Known for his pacey, incisive and skilful play Beardsley joined the Magpies from Vancouver Whitecaps for £150,000 in 1983 and became an instant hit, starring alongside Kevin Keegan in the club’s superb promotion season from the Second Division.
Beardsley was soon given an England call-up after some impressive performances in the top flight and starred for his country in the 1986 World Cup forging a lethal partnership with Gary Lineker. The Geordie went on to earn a total of 59 England caps during his career.
A move to Liverpool soon followed where he became the darling of the Kop helping the Reds to win two league championships and an FA Cup. Merseyside rivals Everton snapped him up as the Reds revamped their squad but it wasn’t long before Kevin Keegan persuaded the veteran to return to St James’ Park in 1993.
New partnerships were formed with Andy Cole and then Alan Shearer as Beardsley continued to wow the Magpies fans with his intelligent play. During this period he came mightily close to winning the Premier League crown in 1996, only to be pipped at the death by Manchester United.
Always remembered fondly by Newcastle United fans, Beardsley will forever be a favourite at St James’ Park.