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History

PETER DOWNSBOROUGH: 1943-2019

30 September 2019

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Peter will always be remembered for his heroics at Wembley on 15 March 1969, when at times it seemed that he almost single-handedly kept Arsenal at bay with some breath-taking saves.

Quietly spoken off the field, at 5’10” Peter was not big for a goalkeeper and had switched from centre-forward to between the ‘sticks’ during his school days.

Town manager Danny Williams signed him from his home-town club, Halifax, where he had made his Football League debut some four months before his 17th birthday. He arrived at the County Ground Just hours before the 1965/66 season started.

For a two-year period from August 1968, Peter did not miss a game in domestic competition. At the start of that sequence, he kept clean sheets in the League until the seventh game of the season - a period of 568 minutes - and did not concede a League goal at home until mid-October !

Peter was unfortunate in that injury prevented him from taking part in other Town successes apart from the League Cup Final. A cartilage injury in December 1966, ruled him out of most of the F.A.Cup run that season, when they reached a Fifth Round second replay.

He also missed out on most of the Anglo-Italian Cup success of 1970, Town having played him in a friendly at Yeovil just a few days after the 4-0 win over Juventus. Peter broke a bone in his right hand.

It was not until 1973 that his position came under threat - from Jimmy Allan, ten years his junior.     Peter failed to agree terms for the 1973/74 season and he was sent out on loan, first to Brighton and then to Bradford.

Peter’s move back to Yorkshire was completed early in the January, after making 320 appearances in a Town shirt. He retired in 1980, twenty years and 650 League appearances after his first. 

His last visit to the County Ground as a player came 42 years ago this week when another man-of-the-match performance saw Peter defy a rampant Town attack that had hit five goals a few days earlier. Under the lights he stood firm to help Bradford to a 1-0 victory.

Peter passed away just a fortnight after his 76th birthday.


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