18 Jan 1961
It would not be unrealistic to expect that Peter would be in many peoples all time Newcastle United XI, and certainly in the squad if they couldn't find a way of fitting him into the starting team. Capped 59 times for England, the lad from Hexham had two very different spells at St James Park.
His first was in 1983. Having started his career with Carlisle he would move to Canada to try his hand at Vancouver Whitecaps where his 73 league games and 28 goals were only punctuated by a brief spell at Manchester United who would have one brief look at him in a League Cup game. His move to Newcastle started what would be a pretty impressive career on these shores however.
That spell between '83 and '87 saw him promoted in his first season, playing alongside Keegan in a team that awoke from their slumber in what was then called the Second Division. Beardsley, a dynamic and skilful little player not only had lightning fast feet when on the ball but could also find a pass and the goal when they presented themselves. His goal record alone, with 61 goals in 147 appearances in this first spell were enough to catch the eye. Some will also remember a game where Beardsley played as goalkeeper, with no GK subs at the time he ended up as the third person to play between the sticks in a 8-1 loss, with the 5'7" Peter conceding the final three goals. Ah, the good old days!
His form also saw him called up for England before his first term at Newcastle was over. A career at International level that would see him pair up with Gary Lineker and play a pivotal role in the Mexico '86 World Cup as well as in the Euros two years later and the 1990 World Cup. He would score 9 goals in his 59 England games at full International level.
His performances for club and country hadn't gone unnoticed, and in 1987 he got his big move to Liverpool. During his time in Liverpool he would win two League titles (1987/88 and 1989/90) and also the FA Cup in season 1988/89. His busy style perfectly complimenting John Aldridge as the main striker.
In 1991 he swapped the red of merseyside for blue and joined Everton for £1m, staying two years, before Kevin Keegan (then the Newcastle manager) made the Toffees an offer they couldn't refuse and brought the 32 year old back to United for a deal worth £1.5m.
His partnership with Andy Cole was unbelievable. Beardsley's return of 24 goals in all competitions (21 in the Premier League) in his first season was impressive enough, but when you consider he was also the main source of goals for Andy Cole who scored 41 in that same season (a club and Premier League record that will likely stand for many years) you can see the true impact of his return 'home'.
'Pedro's' second spell at United would last 4 season, bringing a spark and a verve to the Newcastle front line in a golden but ultimately fruitless period for the club. As part of the Keegan's 'Entertainers' he fans of not just Newcastle United will remember the style and attacking brand of football that Peter played a pivotal role in shaping.
He'd leave Newcastle in 1997 and head to Bolton, Manchester City, Fulham, Hartlepool and Melbourne before hanging up his boots.
A place in the Newcastle coaching team was his reward for his services as a player, indeed having a brief spell as caretaker manager in 2010 between the period of Chris Houghton leaving and Alan Pardew taking up the full time post.
In 2003 Beardsley was the subject of an FA enquiry into bullying by the FA. He was cleared of the charges. In 2018 however he was placed on leave by the club after allegations of racism by a youth player, he was subsequently charged by the FA with making three racist comments and was found guilty in September 2019, sentenced to a 32 week suspension of all 'football related' activity. He was released by Newcastle United as a consequence.