Peterborough United F.C.

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Peterborough United
Peterborough United.svg
Full namePeterborough United Football Club
Nickname(s)The Posh
Founded1934;87 years ago (1934)
Ground Weston Homes Stadium
Capacity15,314
Owners Darragh MacAnthony (50%) [1]
Kelgary Sports & Entertainment (50%) [2]
ChairmanDarragh MacAnthony
Manager Darren Ferguson
League League One
2020–21 League One, 2nd of 24 (promoted)
Website Club website
Soccerball current event.svg Current season

Peterborough United Football Club is a professional football club in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England. The team compete in League One, the third tier of English football league system, but will compete in the Championship in the 2021–22 season following promotion. Peterborough have long-standing rivalries with nearby clubs Northampton Town, with whom they contest the Nene derby, and Cambridge United, with whom they contest the Cambridgeshire derby. They have spent their entire history at London Road Stadium and are nicknamed "The Posh".

Contents

Peterborough United formed in 1934 and joined the Midland League. Having won the Midland League title for five consecutive seasons from 1955–56, they were elected into the Football League in 1960. Peterborough immediately won the Fourth Division title in 1960–61, scoring a Football League record 134 goals. Relegated in 1968, they won another Fourth Division title in 1973–74, though suffered a further relegation in 1979. Peterborough were promoted back into the Third Division at the end of the 1990–91 season and reached the second tier with victory in the 1992 play-off final. However they returned to the fourth tier with relegations in 1994 and 1997.

Peterborough won the Third Division play-offs in 2000 under the stewardship of Barry Fry, though were relegated in 2005. They secured a place in the Championship after manager Darren Ferguson led them to consecutive promotions in 2007–08 and 2008–09 and spent three of the next four seasons in the second tier, winning a play-off final in 2011 after relegation the previous year. They were relegated back into League One in 2013, though went on to win the Football League Trophy in 2014.

In the 2020–21 season Peterborough were promoted back to the Championship, finishing runners-up after an eight year stay in League One, after coming back from 3–0 down to draw 3–3 against rivals Lincoln City, following a stoppage time penalty by Jonson Clarke-Harris.

History

1934–1990

Peterborough United formed in 1934 at Peterborough's Angel Hotel to provide a replacement for Peterborough & Fletton United, who had folded two years previously. [3] Peterborough's application to join the Midland League was welcomed by the league, however, the representatives from the club did not have the money to pay for the security deposit, entry fee and subscription. Grantham Town loaned the money to The Posh who began selling shares to raise funds. [4]

4,033 fans attended The Posh's first league match which ended in a 4-0 victory over Gainsborough Trinity. Len Hargreaves scored the team's first goal. They won the Midland League on six occasions, including five seasons in a row from 1956 to 1960. The Posh were elected to The Football League for the beginning of the 1960–61 season, winning Division Four. [5]

Following the Fourth Division Championship success in 1960–61, The Posh spent seven seasons in the 3rd Division. They reached the quarter-finals of the 1964–65 FA Cup, beating Arsenal and Swansea Town along the way before going out to Chelsea. [6] They were relegated back to the 4th Division for financial irregularities in the summer of 1968. The club took six seasons to return to Division 3, winning the 4th Division championship.

In 1977–78 the club threatened to go one better until they narrowly missed out on promotion to Division 2 when they drew the last game of the season at champions Wrexham (0–0) when a win was needed to go up. The game was notable for the fact that over 2,000 Preston North End fans travelled to Wrexham to watch the game and cheer on the home side – Preston were the club who went up because Peterborough did not win. The Wrexham defeat cast a long shadow over the club and it fell into a long decline. Relegation followed in 1979 and Posh subsequently spent 12 years back in the 4th division. The 1980s was a long story of mismanagement and false dawns, punctuated by the odd cup run.

1991–2000

In January 1991, Chris Turner, who had played in the 1974 Fourth division championship team took over as manager and the team embarked on a run of 13 unbeaten games that propelled them into the top four. Six players were signed on transfer deadline day, which at the time was a record for the number of players signed by one club on a single day. On the final day of the season, Posh travelled to Chesterfield needing a win to seal promotion. Despite going two goals down in the first ten minutes, the team rallied and drew level with goals from David Robinson and George Berry. However, Posh's closest rivals, Blackpool lost at Walsall and promotion was achieved.

Chart of table positions for Peterborough since joining the Football League. PeterboroughUnitedFC League Performance.svg
Chart of table positions for Peterborough since joining the Football League.

The following season arguably remains the most successful in the club's history. After an inconsistent start the team hit form during the Autumn when they knocked Wimbledon and Newcastle United out of the League Cup. The reward was a home tie with a Liverpool team containing Bruce Grobbelaar, Jan Mølby, Steve McManaman, Dean Saunders and Mark Wright. Garry Kimble scored the only goal after 19 minutes prompting wild celebrations and a place in the quarter-finals. In the league, the team went from strength to strength and surged up the table. Middlesbrough ended the League Cup run after a replay and there was further disappointment when the team missed out on a trip to Wembley in the Football League Trophy when they lost to Stoke City over two legs in the area final.

Progress continued in the league and a play-off place was clinched on the last day of the season despite a 1–0 defeat to champions Brentford. The following week, Huddersfield Town came to London Road for the first leg of the Semi-final. Captain Mick Halsall's last minute equaliser levelled the score at 2–2. Three days later, the supporters travelled north more in hope than expectation but they were rewarded when the team came from a goal down to win 2–1 with Worrell Sterling and Steve Cooper scoring the goals. On 24 May 1992, Peterborough United played at Wembley for the first time, against Stockport County in the Third Division playoff final. With Posh winning 2–1 and gaining promotion to the new First division. They played in Football League Division One between 1992 and 1994 and finished 10th, their highest ever league finish, in 1992–93 season. [7]

2001–2010

During the 2005–06 season the club had three managers: Team owner Barry Fry returned to management following former England international Mark Wright's sacking in January 2006. Wright's assistant Steve Bleasdale was then appointed acting manager, but resigned in April. Keith Alexander joined as manager from Lincoln City for 2006–07 but was sacked in January 2007 after a run of poor form and was replaced by Darren Ferguson. [8] He led the club to back-to-back promotions from League Two to the Championship in his two full seasons in charge. By November 2009 Posh were bottom of the Championship and Ferguson left the club, [9] to be replaced by Mark Cooper. In February 2010, after only 13 games in charge, Cooper also left the club [10] and Jim Gannon was appointed in his place. [11] Following confirmation of relegation from the Championship after a 2–2 draw at Barnsley, Gannon was replaced by Gary Johnson. [12]

2011–present

Peterborough United fans at Old Trafford in 2011 Peterborough United fans.jpg
Peterborough United fans at Old Trafford in 2011

Gary Johnson left the club on 10 January 2011 due to policy disagreement. [13] Two days after Johnson's departure, Darren Ferguson returned to the club on a four and a half-year contract. Peterborough finally finished 4th in 2010-11 Football League One with one of the worst defensive records in the third tier, conceding over 70 goals, but scoring 106; the most for anybody in the Football League that season. Peterborough beat Milton Keynes Dons in the playoff semi-finals. They defeated Huddersfield Town in the Final with a 3–0 victory, and gained promotion back to the Championship.

Darren Ferguson led the team to safety in its first season back in the Championship, leading to a finish in 18th. However, the Posh were relegated back the following season, after losing to Crystal Palace 3–2 on 4 May 2013, the final match of the season.

On 30 March 2014 The Posh won the Football League Trophy after defeating Chesterfield in the final at Wembley Stadium.

Darren Ferguson ended his time as Peterborough United manager on 21 February 2015, following a 3–0 defeat at Milton Keynes Dons.

On 1 May 2021 Peterborough were promoted back to the Championship after a 8 year stay in League One after coming back from 3–0 down to draw 3–3 against rivals Lincoln City following a stoppage time penalty by Jonson Clarke-Harris.

Historic sexual abuse prosecutions

In December 2016, as the United Kingdom football sexual abuse scandal expanded, it was revealed that alleged abuser Bob Higgins worked as a youth coach at Peterborough from May 1995 to April 1996. [14] [15] He was investigated as part of a 1997 Channel 4 Dispatches investigation, when he denied allegations of abuse, claiming he was a faith healer and born again Christian. [15] On 5 July 2017, Higgins was charged with 65 counts of indecent assault. The offences were alleged to have taken place in the 1980s and 1990s and to have involved 23 alleged victims. [16] [17] A trial at Salisbury Crown Court started on 29 May 2018, with Higgins, 65, denying 50 counts of indecent assault between 1971 and 1996 in relation to 24 boys. On 23 July, Higgins was found guilty of one charge of indecent assault, and not guilty of another count of the same offence, while the jury failed to reach verdicts on 48 other counts of the same charge. [18] A retrial, on 51 counts of indecent assault, started on 26 March 2019 at Bournemouth Crown Court, [19] and on 23 May 2019, Higgins was found guilty of 45 charges of indecent assault against teenage boys, not guilty of five counts of indecent assault, with the jury unable to reach a verdict on one final count. [20] On 12 June 2019, Higgins was sentenced to 24 years and three months in prison. [21]

On 27 January 2017, it was reported that a second former Peterborough coach had been arrested; Michael Sean ‘Kit’ Carson, 73, academy director at Peterborough from 1993 to 2001 (overlapping with Bob Higgins for almost a year) was held in Cambridge on suspicion of indecency with children and indecent assault. [22] [23] On 2 March 2018 it was announced that Carson had been charged with 11 counts of indecent assault and one of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. The alleged offences all involved boys under 16, and were said to have occurred from 1978 to 2009. [24] He appeared at Cambridge magistrates' court on 17 April, pleading not guilty to the 12 charges, [25] then appeared at Peterborough Crown Court on 15 May 2018 when he was released on bail. [26] Carson, 75, was killed when the car he was driving crashed into a tree near Bottisham in Cambridgeshire on 7 January 2019, the day his trial was due to start at Peterborough Crown Court; no other vehicle was involved. [27] An inquest into his death was opened on 22 January, when it was confirmed Carson died from a traumatic brain injury. Pending further investigations, the inquest was adjourned. [28] [29] In September 2019, an inquest concluded Carson had taken his own life. [30]

Colours and kits

Kit manufacturers and sponsors

YearsKit manufacturerKit sponsor
1975–1981 Umbro No sponsor
1981–1982 SodaStream
1982–1983
1983–1986 Patrick
1986–1987HensonFairview
1987–1988Wells Ales
1988–1990Scoreline Perkins
1990–1992Ribero
1992–1995The Posh Thomas Cook
1995–1996
1996–1999Patrick
1999–2001SokeThe Posh
2001–2002The Posh
2002–2003Goal InternationalNo sponsor
2003–2004 Admiral Van Asten Logistics
2004–2006 Hotpoint
2006 Diadora Haart
2007Tempest Sports
2007–2008MRI Overseas Property
2008–2010 Adidas
2010 Sue Ryder Care
2010–2011 theposh.com
2011–2013 Nike Energy Park Peterborough
2013–2014Stadium Energy
2014–2020Mick George
2020–present Puma

Nickname

Peterborough United are nicknamed "The Posh", a moniker coined in 1921, after Pat Tirrell, manager of Fletton United, was reported to say he was "Looking for posh players for a posh new team". [31] When Fletton United looked to join the Southern League in 1923 they added Peterborough to their name to form Peterborough & Fletton United, in an attempt to gain the backing of businesses in Peterborough. Peterborough & Fletton United went bankrupt in October 1932 so the current club is the third to be known as The Posh. However, the term "posh" was used as a derogatory term for the club by the press. [32]

Peterborough & Fletton United were also commonly called "the brickies" [33] in reference to the large brick industry in Peterborough, however the nickname was dropped when the club went bankrupt.

In 2002 Victoria Beckham filed a counter-claim with the UK Patent Office over the club's application to register their nickname of "Posh" for use on merchandise. The former Spice Girl, who was known in the group as "Posh Spice", claimed the "nickname 'Posh' has become synonymous with her on a worldwide basis". She was unsuccessful in her suit. [34]

Stadium

Since their formation Peterborough United have played their home games at London Road Stadium. The stand behind the London Road End is terraced while the Moy's End, is a rebuilt all-seater stand, and now known as the Motorpoint Stand. A 20,000 all-seater stadium to replace London Road has been proposed. [35] The record attendance at the stadium is 30,096, achieved on 20 February 1965 in an FA Cup fifth-round game against Swansea Town. [7]

The ground was renamed as the ABAX Stadium in November 2014 as part of a five year sponsorship deal with Norwegian company ABAX. The first game at the renamed ground was against Bristol City, which Bristol won 3–0. [36] [37] [38] In June 2019 the ground was renamed the "Weston Homes Stadium" as a ten year sponsorship deal, the largest in the club's history, between the football club and the British property developer company. [39]

Rivals

According to the Football Fans Census, Cambridge United were considered to be the club's main rival. [40] The Cambridge rivalry has been fought very evenly over the years; Peterborough winning 16 and Cambridge 15, with Peterborough netting 53 times and Cambridge 52 in the 38 competitive matches they have played each other. However, the two sides did not meet each other between 2001 and 2017 when they faced each other in the Checkatrade Trophy, a game which Peterborough won 2–0. [41]

Northampton Town are the club's traditional rival, [40] dating back to when both sides were lower league, and as the city of Peterborough is historically part of Northamptonshire.

More recently, Posh fans have begun to view the MK Dons as rivals, partly due to the geographic location, but also due to battling with the MK Dons for promotion from League Two and League One in Darren Ferguson's first two full seasons. [42] [43]

Ever since 1992 there has also been animosity between Peterborough United and Huddersfield Town, with Chris Turner's Peterborough progressing to the final and later on winning the playoffs in the 1991-92 Football League Third Division, they progressed past Huddersfield winning 4-3 on aggregate in the playoff semi finals. [44] This rivalry further grew in 2011 with Posh winning against Huddersfield in the 2010–11 League One Playoff Final 3–0, and in the 2012–13 Championship season Huddersfield relegated Posh from the championship on the last day of the season with them drawing 2–2 with Barnsley, and with Peterborough losing 3–2 against Crystal Palace, Huddersfield's draw with Barnsley, with both sides willing to see the game out as a draw, caused the latter to leapfrog Peterborough and send them down to League One. [45] [46]

Many fans consider Peterborough to be a part of the Pride of Anglia derby, contested between the professional clubs based in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and sometimes Essex. Matches against these teams often draw large crowds with Posh's highest home attendance of the 2019-20 season coming against Ipswich Town with 10,071 fans. For the return fixture, Peterborough sold out their initial 1,900 ticket allocation. [47]

Peterborough also have shown a certain enmity towards Lincoln City. [48] This rivalry grew as on 1st May 2021, Peterborough United came back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 meaning they secured automatic promotion to the Championship, denying Lincoln 2nd and forcing the Lincolnshire club to settle for a play-off place. [49]

Players

Current squad

As of 16 June 2021 [50]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos.NationPlayer
1 GK Flag of England.svg  ENG Christy Pym
2 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Ronnie Edwards
3 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Dan Butler
4 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Nathan Thompson (vice captain)
5 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Mark Beevers (captain)
6 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Frankie Kent
7 FW Flag of Sudan.svg  SDN Mohamed Eisa Dagger-14-plain.png
8 MF Flag of Ireland.svg  IRL Jack Taylor
9 FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Jonson Clarke-Harris
10 FW Flag of Scotland.svg  SCO Siriki Dembélé
13 GK Flag of Hungary.svg  HUN Dániel Gyollai Dagger-14-plain.png
15 MF Flag of Ireland.svg  IRL Sammie Szmodics
16 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Harrison Burrows
No.Pos.NationPlayer
17 FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Ricky-Jade Jones
19 FW Flag of Sierra Leone.svg  SLE Idris Kanu
20 MF Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  AZE Serhat Tasdemir Dagger-14-plain.png
22 MF Flag of Scotland.svg  SCO Ethan Hamilton
23 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Joe Ward
26 MF Flag of Scotland.svg  SCO Flynn Clarke
27 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Kyle Barker
32 GK Flag of England.svg  ENG Will Blackmore
36 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Benjamin Mensah
37 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Charlie O'Connell
42 FW Flag of Portugal.svg  POR Adler Nascimento
MF Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  WAL Ryan Broom Dagger-14-plain.png

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos.NationPlayer
  • Dagger-14-plain.png Players with this symbol are transfer-listed.

Notable former players

For a list of notable Peterborough United players in sortable-table format see List of Peterborough United F.C. players.

Club officials

As of 17 August 2020: [51]

Boardroom

First Team

Managers

As of 15 May 2021. Only competitive matches are counted. Periods as caretaker manager are shown in italics

Name [52] FromToRecord
PWDLWin %
Jock Porter9 June 193410 April 1936----
Flag of England.svg Fred Taylor 11 April 193630 June 1937----
Bert PoulterSummer 1937Summer 1938----
Flag of England.svg Sam Haden Summer 193814 June 1948----
Flag of England.svg Jack BloodSummer 1948May 1950----
Flag of England.svg Bob Gurney Summer 1950Summer 1952----
Flag of England.svg Jack Fairbrother 4 June 1952January 1954----
Flag of England.svg George Swindin January 1954Summer 1958----
Flag of England.svg Jimmy Hagan August 195818 October 196212870263254.69%
Flag of England.svg Johnny Anderson 18 October 196219 December 1962----
Flag of England.svg Jack Fairbrother 19 December 196215 February 19646020152533.33%
Flag of England.svg Johnny Anderson 15 February 19642 April 1964----
Flag of England.svg Gordon Clark 2 April 196428 September 196717070415941.18%
Flag of England.svg Norman Rigby 28 September 1967November 1967----
Flag of England.svg Norman Rigby November 1967January 19697027172638.57%
Flag of England.svg Jim Iley 8 January 1969September 197219369517335.75%
Jim WalkerSeptember 19729 October 1972----
Flag of Ireland.svg Noel Cantwell 9 October 197210 May 1977254105727741.34%
Flag of England.svg John Barnwell 10 May 19779 November 19787329281639.73%
Flag of England.svg Billy Hails 9 November 1978January 1979----
Flag of England.svg Peter Morris 24 February 1979June 198221461119.05%
Martin Wilkinson 30 June 1982February 19833413101138.24%
Flag of England.svg Bill Harvey 6 November 1982 [53] ----
Flag of England.svg Bill Harvey February 1983May 1983----
Flag of England.svg John Wile 1 May 19831 November 198617860566233.71%
Flag of England.svg Lil Fuccillo 1 November 198620 November 1986----
Flag of Ireland.svg Noel Cantwell 20 November 198612 July 19885915202425.42%
Flag of England.svg Mick Jones 12 July 198831 August 19895818142631.03%
Flag of England.svg Dave Booth 31 August 19896 September 1989101000.00%
Flag of Ireland.svg Mark Lawrenson 6 September 19899 November 19906425231639.06%
Flag of England.svg Dave Booth 9 November 199022 January 19911345430.77%
Flag of England.svg Chris Turner 22 January 19911 December 199210148322147.52%
Flag of England.svg Lil Fuccillo 1 December 199229 December 19935915202425.42%
Flag of England.svg Chris Turner 29 December 1993Summer 199426561519.23%
Flag of England.svg John Still Summer 199424 October 19956719242428.36%
Flag of England.svg Mick Halsall 24 October 1995November 1995632150.00%
Flag of England.svg Mick Halsall November 199531 May 1996311061532.26%
Flag of England.svg Barry Fry 31 May 199631 May 200548316313318733.75%
Flag of England.svg Mark Wright 31 May 200524 January 20063512111234.29%
Flag of England.svg Steve Bleasdale 24 January 200622 April 20061461742.86%
Flag of England.svg Barry Fry 22 April 200630 May 2006310233.34%
Flag of Saint Lucia.svg Keith Alexander 30 May 200615 January 2007341471341.18%
Flag of England.svg Tommy Taylor 15 January 200720 January 2007100100.00%
Flag of Scotland.svg Darren Ferguson 21 January 20079 November 200914573403250.34%
Flag of England.svg Mark Cooper 14 November 20091 February 2010121478.33%
Flag of England.svg Jim Gannon 2 February 20106 April 20101441928.57%
Flag of England.svg Gary Johnson 6 April 201010 January 2011331541445.45%
Flag of Australia (converted).svg David Oldfield 11 January 201111 January 20111100100%
Flag of Scotland.svg Darren Ferguson 12 January 201121 February 201522288419339.64%
Flag of England.svg Dave Robertson 21 February 20156 September 20152075835%
Ulster Banner.svg Grant McCann 6 September 201525 September 2015211050%
Flag of England.svg Graham Westley 25 September 201523 April 2016411861743.9%
Ulster Banner.svg Grant McCann 23 April 20168 May 20162200100%
Ulster Banner.svg Grant McCann 16 May 201625 February 201810441273639.4%
Flag of Australia (converted).svg David Oldfield 25 February 201828 February 20181100100%
Flag of Scotland.svg Steve Evans 28 February 201826 January 20195221151640.38%
Flag of Scotland.svg Darren Ferguson 26 January 2019Present11659243350.86%

Honours

Records

Individual records

Most League Appearances: Tommy Robson – 482 (440 starts and 42 as a substitute): 1968–1981 [7]

Most Consecutive Appearances: Eric Steele – 148 (124 League, 24 Cup): [7] 1973–1977

Most League Goals: Jim Hall (footballer born 1945) – 122 1967–75

Most League Goals (incl. Non-League): Dennis Emery—195: 1954-1963

Most League goals in one season: Terry Bly – 52 : 1960–1961 (also an all-time Fourth Division record) [7]

Record transfers

Highest Transfer Fee Received- a fee around £7m (rising to £10m) from Brentford for Ivan Toney, August 2020

Highest Transfer Fee Paid – A fee exceeding £1.25m to Bristol City for Mo Eisa, June 2019 [54]

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