Players - Peter Beardsley

Peter Beardsley
Birthdate: 18 January 1961
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Other clubs: Carlisle United (1977-81), Vancouver Whitecaps (1981-82), Carlisle United (loan 1981-82), Manchester United (1982-83), Vancouver Whitecaps (2 / 1983), Newcastle United (1983-87), Everton (1991-93), Newcastle United (2 / 1993-97), Bolton Wanderers (1997-98), Manchester City (loan 1998), Fulham (1998), Hartlepool United (1998-99), Melbourne Knights (1999)
Bought from: Newcastle United
Signed for LFC: £1.9m, 14.07.1987
International debut: 29.01.1986 vs. Egypt
International caps: 59/9 (34/6 at LFC) - 23.05.1996
Liverpool debut: 15.08.1987
Last appearance: 11.05.1991
Debut goal: 29.08.1987
Last goal: 20.02.1991
Contract expiry: 05.08.1991
Win ratio: 60.57% W:106 D:43 L:26
Games/goals ratio: 2.97
Games/assists ratio: 4.17
Honours: League Championship 1987/88, 1989/90; FA Cup 1989
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 22 / 2
League games / goals / assists: 131 / 46 / 31
Total games / goals / assists: 175 / 59 / 42

Player Profile

Beardsley established himself at third division Carlisle United in the 1979/80 season having been rejected by Newcastle as well as a host of other clubs that didn't believe in the talents of this quiet and unassuming lad. In February 1981 he was presented with a £250 cheque by Jackie Charlton for winning the North East's Most Promising Newcomer trophy, in a competition organised by the Evening Chronicle. Beardsley made an audacious move to Canadian Vancouver Whitecaps where he impressed Manchester United manager Ron Atkinson in a friendly in Canada and joined United in September 1982. He only featured in a single League Cup game before moving back to the Whitecaps after six months. In September 1983 22-year-old Beardsley was on the move again, this time to his hometown club, Newcastle United, for only £150,000 which is arguably the best business the North-East club has ever done! Kevin Keegan's leadership in his final season as a player, inspired Chris Waddle and Beardsley to greater heights and the diminutive forward scored 20 goals as Newcastle were promoted to the First Division after a six-year absence. The Magpies remained in the lower half of the top-flight during the rest of Beardsley's tenure at the club.

Beardsley's international career blossomed in the World Cup in Mexico in 1986 when he eventually started in England's third game of the finals against Poland after the team had struggled for goals in its first two games. He had only made his international debut five months earlier. Beardsley was a perfect partner for goalscorer supreme Gary Lineker who scored a hat-trick against the Poles. Paraguay was beaten 3-0 in the following game with a Lineker brace and a Beardsley goal. England finally succumbed in the quarter-finals to a Maradona double. Beardsley also featured in the disastrous 1988 European Championships and in the 1990 World Cup finals in which England lost to West-Germany in the semi-finals.

In 1987 Beardsley had twelve months of his contract to run and manager Willie McFaul said unless he signed a new three-year deal the club was ready to let him go. Liverpool had sold Ian Rush to Juventus for £3.2million and wanted to spend more than half of that on the Geordie. "Kenny was the one who told me to ask for more money when I was ­negotiating my move to Liverpool. I was going to ask for less than I eventually got. He told me I was the club's record signing at the time and so I should be asking for wages that reflected that. I would do anything for that man. The man is a genius." Beardsley agreed terms with Liverpool inside an hour and the club paid a British record fee of £1.9million for his services. 

The Reds destroyed the opposition with the attacking trio of Barnes, Beardsley and Aldridge in the 1987/88 season going 29 games unbeaten on their way to the title which Liverpool clinched with Beardsley's goal at Anfield against Spurs with four rounds to go. Beardsley, who had by his own admittance struggled and felt like an "expensive passenger" for the first half of the season, had scored 18 goals in 48 appearances by his debut campaign's end and earned rave reviews. He was a true wizard with the ball and his dip of the shoulder to fool the opposition became a favourite among the fans. In the 1988/89 season, Beardsley contributed 12 goals but a final-day 2-0 defeat to Arsenal robbed the Reds of the title a few weeks after the Hillsborough tragedy. The League Championship was reclaimed in 1989/90 with Beardsley playing an important role but he missed the last seven matches of the season due to a stress fracture of the knee diagnosed following the astounding 4-3 defeat to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup semi-finals. The genial Geordie was taken by surprise in the summer when Dalglish told him that Marseille had made a £3.6million offer for his services. Beardsley was concerned because he felt Liverpool were ready to do business but he didn't want to uproot his young family.

Beardsley was dropped on occasion and substituted once too often for his own liking in the 1990/91 season but he didn't let his standards drop and kept his disappointment to himself. He made the ideal start to the season by scoring the winner against Arsenal in the Charity Shield. He scored a memorable hat-trick against Manchester United at Anfield on 16 September and a brace at Goodison Park six days later. Beardsley was out for six weeks after he tore ligaments in his ankle in Steve McManaman's senior debut against Sheffield United on 15 December 1990. He had been a substitute four games running when he was finally back into the starting line-up following his injury and scored two goals in a thrilling 4-4 FA Cup draw at Goodison Park which turned out to be Dalglish's final game as manager in his first spell at the club. Rumours of a great rift between Kenny and Beardsley in the 1990/91 season were later put to rest: "I never fell out with Kenny other than being devastated at being left out of the team," Beardsley said in 1999. "Kenny is a good friend. I got involved in his wife Marina's charity last year, we played in a charity game together against Celtic and Kenny played in my testimonial. If I had any problem with him I wouldn't have invited him. It is wrong for people to say we fell out."

Graeme Souness took over and it soon became apparent Beardsley wasn't to his likingþ Souness spent a then-record £2.9million fee on Dean Saunders from Derby County in July 1991 which prompted Everton, who intended to sign Saunders, to go for their second choice, Peter Beardsley, for one-third of Saunders' fee. Everton cherished Beardsley for two years where he played 95 games and scored 32 goals and proved that Liverpool sure could have used his talents in Souness' regime. A personal highlight for Beardsley was when he returned to Anfield for his first game in a Blues' shirt on 31 August 1991: "Just before the game the Kop chanted my name and I don't suppose that's happened too many times, an Everton player getting his name chanted by the Kop. But during the game, with Liverpool winning, the crowd started to chant, 'What a waste of talent!' The Kop were a bit special to me on that day and I won't ever forget it."

In July 1993 Beardsley rejoined his beloved Newcastle where manager Kevin Keegan was a big admirer of his considerable talents. Newcastle had just been promoted to the Premier League after winning the First Division. Beardsley played brilliantly and scored 25 goals in all competitions to go along with Andy Cole's 41 as the Magpies finished third. Newcastle finished sixth the following year and were pipped to the title by Manchester United after dropping a twelve-point lead in the 1995/96 season. Beardsley's disappointment was made even greater when he was axed from England's European Championship squad. Dalglish took over at Newcastle mid-season and the club had to settle again for second best in the League. Beardsley brought his second spell at St James' Park to an end in August 1997, at 36 years of age, having added 157 games and 56 goals to bring his total for Newcastle to 321 games and 117 goals.

Beardsley went from one club to another desperate to lengthen his career even rejoining Keegan at Fulham but after a single season at Hartlepool United during which he just escaped the drop to the Conference, he ended his sensational League career. Beardsley was awarded a testimonial by Newcastle in January 1999. He has been part of Newcastle's coaching staff in two spells and was promoted to reserve team coach in July 2010. In October 2011 Beardsley was appointed as football development manager at Newcastle having signed a five-year deal in a role that will see him help drive recruitment on a global, local and national scale and fly the flag for the Magpies around the world. He went on to manage their under 23 side but after being suspended for a year on allegations of bullying, his contract was terminated in March 2019 without any further explanation.
Appearances per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 131 25 14 0 5 175
1987-1988 38 7 3 0 0 48
1988-1989 37 5 6 0 3 51
1989-1990 29 8 3 0 1 41
1990-1991 27 5 2 0 1 35
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
Apps Minutes Opponent
14 1140 Everton
12 952 Arsenal
10 875 Norwich City
9 798 Manchester United
9 722 Nottingham Forest
8 720 Southampton
8 703 QPR
7 630 Coventry City
7 630 Derby
7 603 Luton Town
7 536 Tottenham
6 540 Wimbledon
6 520 Sheffield Wednesday
6 471 Aston Villa
5 450 Manchester City
5 380 West Ham United
5 374 Chelsea
5 348 Charlton Athletic
4 336 Crystal Palace
4 297 Newcastle United
3 270 Millwall
2 180 Oxford United
2 180 Middlesbrough
2 180 Walsall
2 180 Stoke City
2 180 Portsmouth
2 180 Swansea City
2 180 Watford
2 172 Sunderland
2 160 Blackburn Rovers
2 148 Wigan Athletic
2 41 Brighton & Hove Albion
1 90 Hull City
1 90 Leeds United
1 90 Crewe
1 90 Carlisle United
1 90 Brentford
1 80 Sheffield United
Total Started/substitutions
160 Started
7 On the bench
15 Substitute
16 Substituted
Total Venue
83 Away
83 Home
9 Neutral
Total Competition
131 League
25 FA Cup
14 League Cup
3 Charity Shield
2 Centenary Trophy
Total W D L Win % Manager
161 99 42 20 61.5% Kenny Dalglish
10 4 1 5 40% Ronnie Moran
4 3 0 1 75% Graeme Souness
Goals per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 46 11 1 0 1 59
1987-1988 15 3 0 0 0 18
1988-1989 10 2 0 0 0 12
1989-1990 10 4 1 0 1 16
1990-1991 11 2 0 0 0 13
A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring
Assists per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 31 7 4 0 0 42
1987-1988 8 1 1 0 0 10
1988-1989 6 3 2 0 0 11
1989-1990 9 2 0 0 0 11
1990-1991 8 1 1 0 0 10
A more detailed look at the player's assists
Milestone Appearances
# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 15.08.1987 Arsenal Highbury League
50 27.08.1988 Charlton Athletic Selhurst Park League
100 12.08.1989 Arsenal Wembley Other
150 27.10.1990 Chelsea Anfield League
Milestone Goals
# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 83 29.08.1987 Coventry City Highfield Road League
50 32 16.09.1990 Manchester United Anfield League
Related Articles
Beardsley enjoying a new lease of life (The Daily Telegraph)

5 November 1996

Tears of a crowd for Beardsley

Article published in the Mirror. Newcastle and Celtic played a testimonial for Peter Beardsley on 27 January 1999.

The day the magic walked out of Anfield

Peter Beardsley tells Andy Hunter he did not cause Kenny Dalglish's shock 1991 departure. Published on 25 January 1999.

Peter Beardsley's Mersey swap was Graeme Souness' mistake

An article on 19th of October 2007 by Chris Beesley, Liverpool Daily Post.

Peter Beardsley sets a new standard

Peter Beardsley was bought for a British record fee in 1987.

King Cole on a roll

Match report from 21.11.1993 on Newcastle - Liverpool from British Soccer Week.

Kop injury puts Beardsley out for six weeks

Duel between Peter Beardsley and Neil Ruddock ended in Beardsley fracturing his cheekbone in three places in Ronnie Whelan's testimonial. From "British Soccer Week 19.08.1993.

Beardsley perfectly at home

Match report from The Times on 13.02.1988.

Beardsley shows no charity

Match report from 12.08.89.

Related Quotes

"I could have signed for Newcastle when I was 17, but I decided I would be better off at Carlisle. I'd had a drink that night"

Peter Beardsley

"There was no way I would have asked to leave Liverpool, I was really enjoying my time there but Souness wanted me out."

Peter Beardsley, september 2000 on Shanklygates

"He's already just about the best player in England at the moment. Add 20 goals a season at Liverpool and he will become a megastar... a name to bracket alongside Maradona and Cruyff. Beardsley is a bargain at £2 Million. He's not at his best yet, but he's going to come to his peak in the next three or four years. But what he needs to work on now is to score more goals. That's the only part of his game that needs improving. He's got everything else. He's a little wizard."

What Bobby Robson, Peter Beardsley's England boss, said when Liverpool announced their record buy

Anfield's Bombers - 1987/88
Anfield's Bombers - 1987/88
Dynamic duo takes centre stage - 11 September 1987
Dynamic duo takes centre stage - 11 September 1987
LFC Official Matchday Magazine interview 2000/01
LFC Official Matchday Magazine interview 2000/01
Match factfile May 1990
Match factfile May 1990
Match poster 1987
Match poster 1987
Peter Beardsley on the cover of Shoot! as an England player
Peter Beardsley on the cover of Shoot! as an England player
Peter the great glad to be back - 1995
Peter the great glad to be back - 1995
Peter the great! - Liverpool fan club magazine 1987
Peter the great! - Liverpool fan club magazine 1987
Peter's palace - 11 August 1987
Peter's palace - 11 August 1987
Poster in LFC Official Matchday Magazine
Poster in LFC Official Matchday Magazine
Poster of England's Peter Beardsley
Poster of England's Peter Beardsley
Rudi Voeller wishes he had Barnes and Beardsley on his side - 1988
Rudi Voeller wishes he had Barnes and Beardsley on his side - 1988
Shoot! 20 February 1988
Shoot! 20 February 1988
Shoot! Focus on Peter Beardsley at Newcastle
Shoot! Focus on Peter Beardsley at Newcastle
Sketch of the most expensive player in Britain
Sketch of the most expensive player in Britain
Star Gallery 1988
Star Gallery 1988
Superstars hit heights on road to Wembley - 16 May 1989
Superstars hit heights on road to Wembley - 16 May 1989
The outcast - 1992
The outcast - 1992
The Soaring cost of success - 11 August 1978
The Soaring cost of success - 11 August 1978
The way we were - 11 August 1987
The way we were - 11 August 1987
You've done the right thing, Peter, by Albert Stubbins - 11 August 1987
You've done the right thing, Peter, by Albert Stubbins - 11 August 1987
Beardsley celebrates the 1988 league title
Other Clubs
Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Carlisle United 1979-1980 England Third Division 39 8 43 9
Carlisle United 1980-1981 England Third Division 43 10 54 15
Vancouver Whitecaps 1981-1982 USA NASL 26 13 26 13
Carlisle United 1981-1982 England Third Division 22 4 29 5
Vancouver Whitecaps 1982-1983 USA NASL 22 7 22 7
Manchester United 1982-1983 England First Division 0 0 1 0
Vancouver Whitecaps 1983-1984 USA NASL 25 8 25 8
Newcastle United 1983-1984 England Second Division 35 20 38 20
Newcastle United 1984-1985 England First Division 38 17 44 17
Newcastle United 1985-1986 England First Division 42 19 45 19
Newcastle United 1986-1987 England First Division 32 5 37 5
Everton 1991-1992 England First Division 42 15 50 20
Everton 1992-1993 England Premier League 39 10 45 12
Newcastle United 1993-1994 England Premier League 35 21 39 24
Newcastle United 1994-1995 England Premier League 34 12 37 12
Newcastle United 1995-1996 England Premier League 35 8 40 11
Newcastle United 1996-1997 England Premier League 25 5 36 8
Bolton Wanderers 1997-1998 England Premier League 17 2 21 2
Manchester City 1997-1998 England First Division 6 0 6 0
Fulham 1997-1998 England Second Division 9 2 9 2
Fulham 1998-1999 England Second Division 13 3 18 4
Hartlepool United 1998-1999 England Third Divison 22 2 24 2
Melbourne Knights 1999-2000 Australia National Soccer League 2 0 2 0
Total 603 191 691 215