In this sub-section of the museum we share with you photo’s, details etc. of players, and managers of the Posh who were cult heroes of the club during the 1970’s.
The 1970’s was the decade in which Posh won the 4th Division championship (returning to the 3rd Division after six seasons) and missing out on promotion to the 2nd Division on goal difference to Preston North End in 1978.
Let us know (at firstname.lastname@example.org) of any other players / managers (and the reason why) you think they were cult heroes of our club from the 1970’s. If you put a good case forward we may include them in the future.
Please note some cult heroes from this era may be in other sections (i.e. ‘The 1960’s’ or ‘The 1980’s’ section) if they were involved with the club in different decades.
Page last last updated: 27th June 2017
Born 24 December 1938 in Newcastle
After retiring from playing top level football for Arsenal, Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Utd John moved into coaching and became Posh’s trainer / coach in November 1972 under Noel Cantwell.
As Noel’s number 2 he helped lead the Posh to the 4th Division championship in the 1973/74 season which saw the club return to the old Third Division.
John succeeded Noel as Manager of the Posh in May 1977 and the club almost reached the Second Division in the 1977/78 season (his first and only full season as Manager) but sadly the club missed out on goal difference to Preston North End. That season the Posh conceded the fewest goals (33) in a season since joining the Football League in 1960/61.
John left the Posh in 1978 after a dispute with the club’s board and went on to manage Wolverhampton Wanderers, who he took to a FA Cup semi-final and then victory in the 1980 League Cup final.
Did you know: John was the Chief Executive of the League Managers Association (LMA) of which he is now a life Vice President.
Born 28th December 1932 in County Cork, Ireland – died 8th September 2005.
Known to all Posh fans as the ‘Messiah’, Noel managed the Posh on two separate occasions. He was appointed Posh Manager for the first time in October 1972 when the club were struggling at the bottom of the 4th Division. That season he steadied the ship as Posh finished 19th in the table avoiding the embarrassment of having to seek re-election to the Football League which had looked likely earlier in the season.
In his first full season in charge the Posh won the 1973/74 Fourth Division title in style attracting average home gates of 8,795, up over 4,000 on the previous season.
In the first season back in the 3rd Division Posh finished a creditable 7th as well as reaching the 5th Round of the FA Cup.
In the 1975/76 season Posh finished 10th in the 3rd Division as well as reaching the 4th Round of the FA Cup when they were drawn and played against Noel’s old club Manchester Utd at Old Trafford.
The following season Posh finished 16th in the 3rd Division and Noel announced he was quitting the club two days before the final game of the season.
In November 1986 Noel was back for his second stint as Manager, however this time as Manager was nothing like his first. Struggling financially Noel launched ‘The Cantwell Crusade’ a fundraising drive to raise £100,000.00 for new players.
Noel almost got the Posh into the play offs in the 1987/88 season when we needed to win at Crewe Alexandra on the final day of the season as well as Leyton Orient and Swansea City losing. Although we got the win Swansea also won which meant we missed out on the play offs.
With new Chairman John Devaney coming in and wiping out the clubs debts he moved Noel upstairs as General Manager and appointed Noel’s assistant Mick Jones as Team Manager. The reign of the ‘Messiah’ was over.
Did you know: Noel played one first class cricket match for Ireland in 1956, scoring 31 and 17 runs.
Born 11 November 1948 in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Jack joined the Posh first on loan then on a permanent basis in January 1971 for a fee of £4,000. The fee turned out to be a bargain as in a London Road career spanning twelve years ‘Jolly Jack’ made 394 starting appearances, plus 26 as a substitute and was an unused substitute on 21 occasions – a total only bettered at the time by Tommy Robson, now also bettered by Mark Tyler.
Debuting in a 1-0 victory over Southport, Jack was ever present in his first two full seasons, forming a strong central defensive partnership with Chris Turner, and was appointed club captain. Jack compensated for any lack of finesse with relentless enthusiasm, consistency and terrific will to win.
Although Jack missed out on a 1973/74 4th Division Championship medal to Mick Jones he regained his place to earn the Player of the Season awards in 1974/75 and 1975/76. In 1976/77 he again played in every match and reached another milestone when, having switched to midfield, he broke his goal scoring duck. The goal in a 4-0 FA Cup win at Tranmere was followed a week later by his first Football League goal, at home to Sheffield Wednesday.
In the early 1980’s Jack followed former Posh manager Noel Cantwell to play for the New England Tea Men in the North American Soccer League but returned to the Posh in January 1983 making a further 5 league appearances plus 1 as a used substitute for the Posh in the 1982/83 season.
Did you know: In Frank McLintock’s (the Arsenal’s 1970/71 double winning skipper and Scottish international) autobiography ‘True Grit’, Jack is referred to due to his antics ‘protecting’ the Arsenal skipper.
Born 14th May 1946 in Hammersmith.
John was Noel Cantwell’s first signing when he was signed for £8,000 from Notts County in December 1972. Unaware of Posh’s precarious position when he signed, John made his Posh debut on the 2nd December 1972 in a 2-2 draw with Darlington at Feethams. Scoring many important goals that season John helped Posh pull clear of the 4th Division re-election zone.
The following season, John was installed as captain as the Posh stormed to the 4th Division championship. Ever present, John was the Posh’s top goal scorer that season with 25 League and Cup goals. John even scored twice in the title-decider against Gillingham which Posh won 4-2 at London Road.
A knee injury ruled him out of most of the 1974/75 season but John was Posh’s top goal scorer again in the 1976/77 season before being sold to Cambridge Utd for £2,000 in November 1977. His last game for the Posh was on the 22nd October away at Port Vale. In total John made 127 league appearances plus 5 as a substitute for the Posh scoring 41 goals.
Did you know: John also scored goals for the Posh against 1st Division giants Leeds Utd (in 1974) and Manchester Utd (in 1976) in the FA Cup.
Born 27th December 1953 in Dumbarton, Scotland.
Bob was signed by Noel Cantwell in July 1976 for £20,000 from Barnsley. Soon becoming a Posh favourite, Bob was voted Posh player of the season twice and was in the side that missed out on promotion to Division 2 on goal difference.
Bob was also voted the 3rd Division best player by the People newspaper for the 1976/77 season.
A fine passer, Bob was a stylish midfielder who scored his fair share of goals for the Posh. In total Bob made 130 League, 8 FA and 18 FL Cup appearances for the Posh.
Did you know: Posh received a record £100,000 transfer fee from Blackpool in July 1979 which remained a club record until 1992.
Born 16th January 1949 in Snettisham.
Mick joined the Posh in May 1967 and spent 18 months as understudy to Welsh international Tony Millington. Mick made his league debut in an abandoned game (due to icy conditions) at London Road against Halifax Town in December 1968 and had to wait another week to make his ‘official’ debut in a 2-2 draw away against Grimbsy Town on the 21st December.
Mick was Posh’s first choice keeper for the next 4 seasons in which he missed just 8 games and was ever present in both the 1969/70 and 1972/73 seasons.
Deposed by Eric Steele, Mick’s last senior game for the Posh was in the 4-1 FA Cup defeat against Leeds Utd in January 1974 (Leeds won the old 1st Division that season). Mick was quoted as saying “I didn’t play particularly well that day, but what a match to sign off with.”
Troubled by a back injury from the beginning of the 1974/75 season, Mick spent 14 weeks on the sidelines and was advised to quit full time football in September 1975 after suffering further damage during a reserve game at Brentford.
Did you know: Mick set a club record 7 consecutive clean sheets during Posh’s 4th Division title winning season of 1973/74.
Born 6th October 1951 in Peterborough.
Dave’s progress from local football to a Posh star made him a huge favourite in the 1970’s. Noel Cantwell offered Dave a years contract in May 1973 after he was spotted playing for local sides Peterborough Rovers and Chatteris Town.
Although Dave scored a memorable goal in a pre-season game against Plymouth Argyle before the 1973/74 season, Noel held back from playing him regularly in the first team and he only made 3 full appearances and 9 substitute appearances that season in which the Posh won the 4th Division title.
The following season Dave got his break when John Cozens was injured. His electrifying pace, dribbling skills and goal scoring feats resulted in him being the Posh’s top goal scorer for the 1974/75 season.
He was top goal scorer again the following season (1975/76) with 17 league and cup goals and was voted into the PFA select side.
In the summer of 1977 Dave was transferred to Stoke City for at the time a record fee of £55,000.
Dave returned to and finished his playing career with the Posh in the 1986/87 season starting 16 games, appearing 15 times as a substitute and scoring 8 goals.
Did you know: Dave played in all of Wrexham’s 1984–85 European Cup Winners’ Cup games against Portuguese clubs FC Porto and AS Roma.
Born 21st March 1945 in Northampton.
Signed by Norman Rigby from Northampton Town in December 1967 in a deal that saw Johnny Byrne move the opposite way, ‘Big’ Jim soon became a Posh favourite scoring 13 goals in his first ‘half’ season with the club.
In his first full season with the Posh (1968/69) he became the first Posh player to score 20 League goals in a season since Derek Dougan achieved that feat five seasons earlier.
In 1969/70 he scored 24 league goals including 4 in one game against Oldham Athletic. He scored 4 goals again on the 17th September 1973 against Doncaster Rovers and in total scored 8 hat-tricks for the Posh.
In his 8 years at the Posh Jim formed formidable striking partnerships with both Peter Price and John Cozens that became the scourge of defences.
In total Jim scored 137 goals for the Posh, 122 in the League, 11 in the FA and 4 in the FL Cup. His goal scoring record boasts 6 hat tricks and 2 pokers (4 goals). In this day and age where players don’t stay long at one club, Jim’s record of 122 league goals for the Posh looks unbeatable.
Did you know: Jim was loaned to Ron Atkinson at Cambridge Utd where he scored 15 goals from 24 league games to help Cambridge win the 4th Division championship.
Born 17th January 1940 in Sheffield.
Signed by Noel Cantwell for £5,000 from Manchester City in August 1973 Freddie was an expert passer and a cultured playmaker. He made his debut for the Posh on the opening day of the 1973/74 season at London Road against Mansfield Town which Posh won 2-1.
With his vision and subtle skills Freddie helped steer Noel’s 1973/74 side to the 4th Division title with a string of fine displays in the Posh midfield. Although not a prolific goal scorer, many of the goals he did score were memorable or important such as the one that confirmed Posh’s return to the 3rd Division on the 20th April 1974 against Darlington at London Road.
Freddie only spent two seasons at London Road but during those two seasons fans were treated to an array of skills that fans had not seen the likes of at London Road for many years. His final appearance in a Posh shirt was the last game of the 1974/75 season in a 2-1 defeat against Bournemouth.
Did you know: Freddie won two caps for the England national team in 1962 when Walter Winterbottom was Manager.
Born 22 September 1942
Arriving on loan in September 1973 from Brighton, Bert made his Posh debut in the FL Cup 1st round 2nd leg game against Scunthorpe on 4th September 1973.
A regular throughout his 3 seasons at the Posh, Bert brought quality to the Posh midfield particularly in his first season at the Posh when his performances helped the team win the 4th Division title. In the 1975/76 season Bert moved from midfield to right back where he consistently put in resolute performances.
Bert played a significant part in the Posh’s FA Cup runs of 1975 and 1976 in particular in epic ties against Nottingham Forest, Middlesbrough and Manchester Utd.
Bert’s last game for the Posh came on the 24th March 1976 against Aldershot though he was an unused sub on the 17th April 1976 against Millwall. In total Bert made 123 League, 17 FA Cup and 7 FL Cup apps for the Posh scoring 12 goals.
Did you know: Bert was capped 6 times for England U23’s and collected a League Cup winners medal with Chelsea in 1965.
Born 17th August 1949 in Wrexham, Wales.
Peter gained his cult hero status through averaging more than a goal every two games and scoring over 30 goals in a season for the Posh.
Signed by Posh boss Norman Rigby in the summer of 1968, this Welsh striker proved to be a truly impressive goal scorer over the next 4 seasons. He scored on his debut to help Posh beat First Division side West Bromwich Albion in the Football League Cup and went on to form a deadly partnership with Jim Hall.
Peter was most prolific in 1971/72, when his tally of 28 League goals made him the top marksman of the 4th Division. He also bagged four goals in the FA Cup that season to become the only Posh player to top 30 goals in a season since Terry Bly.
Having made 114 Football League appearances plus 5 as a substitute scoring 62 goals, 8 FA Cup appearances scoring 7 goals and 3 Football League Cup appearances scoring 2 goals, in June 1972 Posh’s cash strapped board accepted then 2nd Division Portsmouth’s £27,000 bid for him.
A back injury hindered his progress with Pompey and Peter returned to London Road for a brief loan spell in early 1974/75 making a further 2 league appearances for the Posh however the move didn’t work out and he went back to Portsmouth.
Did you know: Peter started his career under Bill Shankly at Liverpool but failed to make the first team in two years at Anfield.
Born 31st July 1944 in Gateshead.
Where do you start with the player who was a loyal servant to the club for 13 years, still holds the record for most League (440 + 42 as sub), FA (43 + 2 as sub) and FL Cup (31 + 1 as sub) appearances for the club? Tommy is Posh’s favourite son.
Signed by Norman Rigby for £20,000 in November 1968 from Newcastle Utd, Tommy made his Posh debut as Posh lost to Workington Town on the 23rd November 1968. That season Tommy made 28 appearances scoring 10 goals as Posh finished 18th in Division 4.
Tommy’s dazzling play down the left flank, ball skills, spectacular goals and zest for the game soon made him a Posh favourite. In the 1969/70 season Tommy was ever present and scored 13 league goals as Posh finished 9th in Division 4.
At his best in the 1973/74 season, Tommy won the club’s Player of Season award as Posh won the 4th Division title. Ever present again that season, Tommy scored 9 league goals.
Tommy was Player of the Season again in the 1977/78 season, as a 33 year old in his 10th season at the club when he scored a career best 14 league goals with the Posh just missing out on promotion to the 2nd Division on goal difference to Preston.
His dedication and professionalism enabled him to continue playing for the Posh first team up to and including the 1980/81 season.
Until he had a heart attack in 2012, Tommy was still playing football for the ‘Posh legends’ in charity games in his favourite role of left wing.
Tommy is still involved with the club as he acts as a host to match day sponsors at the ABAX.
Did you know: Tommy made his Northampton Town league debut as a 17 year old against the Posh at London Road and actually scored as the Cobblers beat us 2-0!
Born 26th January 1947 in Glasgow.
Ian’s class, commitment and performances for the Posh made him a cult hero in the 1970’s. Ian initially joined the Posh on loan from Aston Villa in December 1976. His arrival sparked a late season revival for the Posh and it was good news for Posh fans when his move was made permanent in the close season.
As a central defender alongside Chris Turner, in the 1977/78 season the team conceded only 33 league goals as the Posh just missed out on promotion to Division 2 on goal difference.
In the 1977/78 and 1978/79 seasons Ian missed just 1 league game.
Did you know: In 1971 when at Liverpool, Bill Shankly used Ian to mark Franz Beckenbauer in a UEFA Cup quarter final game.
Born 24th September1947 in Luton.
Posh Manager John Barnwell signed Alan from Fulham in July 1977 for £25,000. In his first season with the club, Alan played a massive part in the Posh’s midfield as the team pushed for promotion to Division 2. Sadly the Posh were pipped to promotion by Preston at the end of the season on goal difference.
That season Alan achieved the rare feat of scoring a hat-trick of penalties against Chester. Again sadly Posh ended up losing that game 4-3.
Injury side lined Alan for most of the 1978/79 season and when he returned in the 1979/80 season Posh were back in the 4th Division and Alan switched to central defence playing alongside Colin Foster and helped develop the up and coming Trevor Slack.
Did you know: When playing for Fulham, Alan played alongside George Best, Bobby Moore and Rodney Marsh.
Born 14th May 1954 in Newcastle
Confident, agile and brave goalkeeper, Eric was loaned to the Posh from Newcastle Utd in December 1973 and made his debut on the 2nd February 1974 replacing Mick Drewery in Posh’s 0-0 draw with Chester.
Eric played the last 20 games in the 1973/74 season as the Posh won the 4th Division title before being signed permanently by Noel Cantwell. Eric’s consistency between the posts enabled him to establish a football league club record of playing in 148 games consecutively for the Posh from February 1974 to October 1976.
A favourite with the Posh crowds, Eric played in some memorable cup games in the mid 70’s before he was sold to Brighton in February 1977 for £18,000.
Did you know: Eric was transferred for £100,000 from Brighton to Watford.
Born 3rd April 1951 in St Neots – Died 27th April 2015.
Anyone who knows anything about Peterborough Utd knows that Chris Turner was not just a Posh cult hero but a Posh legend. One of the finest central defenders in the club’s history, Chris later returned to the club to achieve legendary status as a Manager when he guided the Posh from the old 4th Division to League 1 (the 2nd tier in League Football).
Chris began his playing career with the Posh in November 1969 when under Posh Manager Jim Iley he signed professional terms. Although Chris didn’t become a regular in the Posh side until the 1971/72 season when he formed a strong partnership with Jack Carmichael, he was ever present in the 1972/73 season and was the backbone of the defence when Posh won the 4th Division championship in the 1973/74 season.
Captain under Noel Cantwell when the Posh were back in the old 3rd Division Chris’s leadership resulted in Posh enjoying many good runs and decent league placings. As a central defender alongside Ian Ross, in the 1977/78 season the team conceded only 33 league goals as the Posh just missed out on promotion to Division 2 on goal difference.
After the failure to get promotion Chris was sold to 2nd Division side Luton Town for a record £100,000 in 1978. His presence in the side was sorely missed in the 1978/79 season as Posh were relegated to the 4th Division.
Chris returned to the Posh as Manager (for the first time) in January 1991 managing the club until December 1992 and becoming the most successful manager in the club’s history by leading us to the 2nd tier of the football league for the first time in the clubs history.
In December 1992 Chris led a consortium which bought the club and saw him become Chairman as he relinquished his Managers post.
Chris’s second spell as Manager came after Lil Fuccillo resigned in December 1993 with Posh struggling in the 2nd Division. With Alf Hand taking over from Chris as Chairman, Chris once again managed the team. Although the team rallied round and achieved some good results including draws against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup our performances in the league were not good enough and Posh were relegated back to the third tier of the football league at the end of the 1993/94 season.
Sadly Chris passed away in 2015 after suffering from frontal lobe dementia. Following his death a group of Posh fans got together to discuss the possibility of commemorating the great man in such a way that fellow Posh and football fans in general could pay their respects. It was agreed the best way would be by having a life size statue of the man made and installed at London Road. Mr Sean Hedges Quinn an elite sporting statue sculptor has been commissioned to produce the status which will hopefully be installed soon at the ABAX stadium.
Did you know: Chris first came to London Road as an Arsenal fan in January 1965 and left the ground in tears as Posh beat Arsenal in the FA Cup 2-1!
Born 3rd April 1949 in Bradford.
Signed on a ‘free’ from Wolves by Noel Cantwell in 1973, Paul was a workhorse, full of running and a strong tackler which complemented the creative talents of fellow midfielder Freddie Hill.
Paul’s awesome performances in the Posh midfield helped the club to the 4th Division title in 1973/74. His attributes earned him a place in the Division 4 PFA side in 1973/74 which was voted for by fellow professionals.
He maintained his high standards in the 1974/75 season which resulted in the Posh finishing 7th in the 3rd Division as well as reaching the 5th Round of the FA Cup.
In total Paul made 75 (+3 as a sub) Football League appearances scoring 3 goals, 8 (+1 as a sub) FA Cup appearances and 3 Football League Cup appearances before moving to Barnsley.
Did you know: During his time at Wolves, Paul made 26 games in the old 1st Division.
Born 27 October 1956 in Sunderland.
Posh were fortunate to have three great goalkeepers in the 1970’s. Keith may have been the last of the great goalkeepers of the decade but his agility, reliability and consistency ensured his inclusion as a cult hero from the 1970’s. Although Keith started his career at Sunderland it wasn’t until Noel Cantwell brought him to the Posh in May 1976 did he play in the Football League.
Keith replaced Eric Steele in goal after the Posh had endured a poor run of form and he played 32 league and 2 FA Cup games in the 1976/77 season. So good was his performances for the Posh, in February 1977 Noel Cantwell sold Eric Steele to Brighton.
Keith along with Jim Barron who had joined the Posh in August 1977, the two shared goalkeeping duties in the 1977/78 season with Posh only conceding 33 goals in 46 league games.
Ever present in the 1978/79 and 1979/80 seasons, Keith missed just 1 game in the 1980/81 season before being sold to Sheffield Utd for a fee of £100,000 days before the opening game of the 1981/82 season.
In total Keith made 195 League, 10 FA Cup and 22 FL Cup appearances for the Posh.
Did you know: Keith played for Bristol City at Wembley when they won the 1986 Football League Trophy final 3-0 against Bolton Wanderers.