By Lance Jenkinson.
This week Knights’ fans are in for a real treat as we welcome our special guest player, Peter Beardsley.
Beardsley, who jetted into Melbourne early Tuesday morning, will play the next two home matches for the Knights’, starting with South Melbourne in this Sunday’s big NSL Round 24 ‘Melbourne derby’.
Only hours after landing in Melbourne, the fit looking English Youth team coach fronted up for an extremely well attended Media Conference at Flemington’s Chiefly Hotel.
The resulting publicity of Beardsley’s Melbourne visit, judging by the interest shown by the Melbourne media at the press conference, is expected to be awesome leading up to Sunday’s crackerjack encounter.
Currently 39 years of age, Beardsley was one of England’s finest footballers, and is one of a select few that just keep getting better with age. He enjoyed a great career in the English Premier League with dream team Liverpool in the late 1980’s and early 90’s where he won two premierships and an FA Cup.
Born in Newcastle, Beardsley won 59 caps for England. His career started with current third division strugglers Carlisle United in 1979. In his time at Carlisle he managed to play 102 matches and blasted home 22 goals.
In 1982, Beardsley caught the eye of present day European Cup holders Manchester United who brought him back to the UK after a short spell with the Vancouver White Caps in Canada.
But he only managed one football league cup appearance before his first stint with Necastle United. Newcastle certainly recieved great value for money from Beardsley as he played 147 games and scored 61 goals.
It was during Beardsley’s four glorious seasons with Liverpool that he really made his mark. His unforgettable time at Anfield was topped by league championship wins in 1987-88 and 1989-90 and a win in the FA Cup in 1988-89.
The 1988-89 season saw Beardsley stamp himself as one of the most valuable players in England where he played a huge role in a brilliant Liverpool side that just missed out on winning the coveted Premier League Championship/FA Cup double.
However, his form that season was overshadowed by the Hillsborough disaster which claimed 96 lives at the Liverpool/Nottingham Forest FA Cup semi final on April 15,1989.
After weaving his magic for Liverpool, Beardsley transferred to Everton in 1991 before returning to St James’ Park for 129 games. He later played for clubs in lower divisions which included Bolton Wanderers and current first division promotion hopeful, Manchester City.
Not only will Beardsley be great for everyone watching today at Knights’ Stadium, but he will great for the younger Knights’ players to learn all the soccer tricks of the trade. If there’s anyone that knows what they’re doing in a pressure situation, it’s Peter Beardsley.
His knowledge could be just what the Knights’ need to make the playoffs in season 1999-00. As the stats will tell you, we truly have one of the greatest ever English footballers in our presence today.