The 1980’s

In this sub-section of the museum we share with you photo’s, details etc. of Posh players who were cult heroes of the club during the 1980’s.

Although the Posh spent all of this decade in the 4th Division and struggled financially, the club had some good wins in cup competitions, a couple of brushes with promotion and the decade saw the emergence of a number of great local players through the youth set up.

Let us know of any other players / managers (and the reason why) you think they were cult heroes of our club in the 1980’s by emailing us at . If you put a good case forward we may include them in this section in the future.

Please note some cult heroes from this era may be included in other sections i.e. ‘The 1970’s’ or ‘The 1990’s’ if they were involved with the club during other decades.

Page last updated: 27th June 2017

Phil Chard

Born 16 October 1960 in Corby.

Phil like many players in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s progressed through the ranks at the Posh and made his debut for the first team in Posh’s 2-1 win against Swindon Town on 24th April 1979 when he came on as substitute replacing Micky Gynn.

A midfielder until John Wile converted him to a right-back in the 1983/84 season, Phil also became the side’s penalty taker this season scoring 5 times from the spot.

In total Phil made 153 league appearances (+19 as sub), scoring 18 goals, 9 FA cup appearances, scoring 1 goal and 15 League Cup appearances (+2 as sub) scoring 2 goals for the Posh before being sold to arch rivals Northampton Town on the eve of the 1985/86 season by Posh manager John Wile.

Did you know: After leaving Posh for Northampton Town, Phil’s first game for the Cobblers was against the Posh in the 1st Round of the Football League Cup at London Road.

Steve Collins

Born 21 March 1962 in Stamford.

One of the many local players who progressed through the ranks of the Posh during the late 1970’s and became a regular in the first team during the 1981/82 season. The following season was Steve’s best, playing in all 46 league games but his performances attracted interest from other clubs resulting in him being sold to Southend Utd for a small fee.

In December 1985 Steve returned to the Posh for a second spell this time with Posh using him more as a utility player rather than a left back.

Steve was involved in a near fatal injury on the pitch for the Posh in January 1987 when he collided with Northampton Town goalkeeper Peter Gleasure and swallowed his tongue. The quick actions of referee Gilbert Napthine and more importantly Posh physio Bill Harvey who pulled his tongue out, saved his life. Fortunately Steve made a full recovery and in total made 206 league appearances (+10 as a sub), scoring 3 goals, 15 FA Cup,19 FL Cup plus 19 appearances (+1 as a sub) in other competitions for the Posh.

Did you know: During his second spell with the club, due to his all action style Steve had the nickname of ‘Psycho’.

Robbie Cooke

Born 16 February 1957 in Rotherham.

A prolific goal scorer for the Posh, Robbie was signed by Peter Morris from Grantham for a fee of £12,000 in the summer of 1980. An immediate hit with Posh fans, Robbie scored 29 goals in 56 games during the 1980/81 season, helping the club to the fifth round of the FA Cup where the Posh lost to Manchester City 1-0 at London Road. For his achievements that season Robbie was named in the Division Four PFA Team of the Year.

Robbie scored 28 goals in the 1981/82 season, in 51 League, FA and FL Cup games. Although his prolific goal scoring form tailed off a little during the 1982/83 season, Robbie still managed to score 11 goals in 30 League, FA and FL Cup games before his transfer in February 1983 to rivals Cambridge Utd for £20,000.

In total Robbie made 115 League appearances, scoring 51 goals, 13 FA Cup appearances scoring 10 goals and 9 FL Cup appearances scoring 7 goals for the Posh.

Did you know: Robbie represented England C at international level while playing non-league football.

Micky Gynn

Born 19 August 1961 in Peterborough.

Another local player who progressed through the ranks at the Posh in the late 1970’s, early 1980’s. Peter Morris gave Micky his debut for the Posh on the 14th April 1978 in Posh’s 1-0 win against Lincoln City in the old 3rd Division.

Despite being only 5ft 5ins, Micky was a hard tackler, possessed close control and dribbling skills that many players at the top level craved for. Micky performances for the Posh were so impressive he won three consecutive Player of the Season awards in the earlier 80’s.

In total Micky made 152  League appearances (+4 as a sub) scoring 33 goals, 12 FL Cup appearances scoring 1 goal and 13 FA Cup appearances scoring 3 goals for the Posh before in 1983 joining 1st Division club Coventry City for £60,000. He spent ten years at Coventry and made almost 300 appearances at the club, with whom he won the FA Cup in 1987.

Did you know: Micky’s testimonial match at Coventry City’s Highfield Road ground was the penultimate game played there before its demolition.

Mick Halsall

Born 21 July 1961 in Bootle.

Mick, a midfielder began his football career as an apprentice with Liverpool but in six years with the club he never played for the first team. From Liverpool he moved to Birmingham City, Carlisle United, Grimsby Town and finally Posh.

Signed by Noel Cantwell from Grimsby Town for a fee of £25,000 during the 1987 close season, Mick soon became a fans favourite and was captain of the club through their most successful times in the 1990’s.

As well as inspirational, his energy, passion and vehemence was evident to everyone who saw him play. Mick captained the side in the 1992 Division 3 Play off final at Wembley and went on to become Posh manager in October 1995.

Mick started 248 League games (played once as a sub), scoring 28 goals, 20 FA Cup games, scoring 4 goals, 27 FL Cup games scoring 4 goals and made 20 appearances scoring 2 goals in other competitions for the Posh in the 7 seasons he spent as a player at the cub.

Did you know: The £25,000 fee paid by the Posh for Mick’s services came from funds raised through the ‘Cantwell’s Crusade’ and Lifeline Appeal.

Ray Hankin

Born 21 February 1956 in Wallsend.

Signed by Posh manager John Wile in September 1983, Ray was a powerful and burly centre forward who had played during the 1970’s in the 1st Division for Burnley and Leeds Utd.

Ray gained his cult hero status through his aggression rather than the subtle skills, determination and heading powers he possessed. Things started so well for him at the Posh, scoring twice on his debut in a 5-0 win over Torquay Utd on 10th September 1983 and scoring again in his second game for the Posh against Crystal Palace in the League Cup just 4 days later.

On his 4th appearance for the club however Ray was sent off and by the end of the 1983/84 season he had been sent off 4 times in only 28 starts for the club. An injury kept Ray out of the team for the first half of the 1984/85 season but following another sending off in his 8th start of the 1984/85 season his contract with the club was terminated.

Did you know: In 1973 Ray, as part of the Burnley team, won the FA Community Shield beating Manchester City 1-0.

Billy Kellock

Born 7 February 1954 in Glasgow.

Another player signed by Peter Morris, Billy signed for the Posh from non-league side Kettering Town in August 1979. An instant hit with Posh fans, Billy was an aggressive tackler, had subtle skills and a fearsome shot.

Billy’s performances for the Posh were awesome and it was no surprise that in his first season (1979/80) with the club he finished as top scorer and was voted the best player in the 4th Division by the Sunday People newspaper. Captain of the side in both the 1980/81 and 1981/82 seasons, Posh missed out narrowly on promotion to the 3rd Division both seasons.

Discontent with the lack of Posh’s ambition Billy signed for 1st Division side Luton Town in 1982 for a fee of £30,000.

In total Billy made 156 League, FA Cup and FL Cup appearances, scoring 48 goals for the Posh.

Did you know: Whilst at the Posh Billy was named in the Division 4 PFA Team of the Year in both the 1980/81 and 1981/82 seasons.

Noel Luke

Born 28 December 1964 in Birmingham.

Noel, a winger, made 9 league appearances for West Bromwich Albion, the team he started his career with, when they were a 1st Division side in the early 1980’s. In 1984 Noel moved to Mansfield Town making 50 appearances before being signed by Posh manager Noel Cantwell in 1986.

Initially playing as a winger for the Posh, towards the end of the 1988/89 season Noel was converted into an attacking right-back where he was to play for the rest of his Posh career. Noel played a key role in Posh’s meteoric rise to the 1st Division under the management of Chris Turner including playing at Wembley in May 1992 when Posh were promoted to the 1st Division for the first time in the club’s history.

Noel’s whole-hearted performances, his work rate and his foray’s up the right wing made him a cult hero with the Posh fans who he had a great rapport with.

In total Noel made 270 (+7 as a sub) League appearances scoring 27 goals, 18 (+2 as a sub) FA Cup appearances, 28 FL Cup appearances scoring 1 goal plus 20 appearances (+1 as a sub) in other competitions for the Posh] His last game for the club was on 20 March 1993 against Oxford Utd.

Did you know: Noel’s nickname of ‘Doris’ came from Kathy Staff’s character ‘Doris Luke’ in the TV Soap Crossroads.

Trevor Quow

Born 28 September 1960 in Peterborough.

Trevor was another of the youngsters to come through the ranks in the late 1970’s and made his Posh debut as a substitute aged 17 against Hull City in the FL Cup on the 15th August 1978.

A gifted midfielder, Trevor’s career at the Posh was sadly interrupted by injuries (he suffered three broken legs) which had he not suffered many thought would have taken him a long way in the game.

His best performances for the club were under the stewardship of Peter Morris in the early 1980’s and despite his injuries during his eight seasons at the Posh he managed to make 191 (+12 as a sub) League appearances, scoring 17 goals, 10 (+1 as a sub) FA Cup appearances, scoring 2 goals and 16 (+1 as a sub) FL Cup appearances scoring 1 goal.

Released by John Wile in August 1986, Trevor signed for Gillingham and he moved to Posh’s arch rivals Northampton Town in 1989.

Did you know: Despite only playing 24 league games for the Posh in the 1983/84 season, Trevor was included in the PFA select side for the 4th Division.

David Seaman

Born 19 September 1963 in Rotherham.

Released by Eddie Gray at Leeds Utd in August 1982, Posh manager Martin Wilkinson snapped up the 19 year old goalkeeper who went on to win three 1st Division/Premier League Championship medals, four FA Cup winner medals, four FA Community Shield winner medals, a League Cup winners medal and a UEFA Cup Winners Cup medal with Arsenal and 75 full international caps for  England.

David made his Posh debut on the opening day of the 1982/83 season against Stockport County, a game which Posh drew 1-1 despite finishing with only 9 men after Neil Firm and Trevor Slack had been sent off.

His talent was evident producing many inspired performances in just over the two seasons he spent at the Posh. David had the knack of saving penalties and it was no surprise when he received a call up to the England U21 squad which led to interest being shown by bigger clubs in him.

Having made 106 League, FA Cup and League Cup appearances for the Posh, in October 1984 David signed for Birmingham City for £100,000 where he helped them to promotion to the 1st Division.

Did you know: David became a TV personality and with just 8 days to prepare, he along with Zoia Birmingham won TV’s 2005 Strictly Ice Dancing competition when he replaced Paul Gascoigne in the TV show.

Trevor Slack

Born 26 September 1962 in Peterborough.

Trevor was yet another of the youngsters to come through the ranks at the Posh in the late 1970’s and signed professional forms with the club as a 17 year old in August 1980.

Trevor made his debut for the Posh on the 9th August 1980 in a 3-2 win in the League Cup against Fulham. He scored his 1st League goal for the club in just his 3rd game against Doncaster Rovers in a 4-0 win at Belle Vue on the 23rd August 1980.

Trevor was an instant success at the club and kept his place in the first team for the 1980/81 season. Despite losing his place to Tony Smith in the 1981/82 season he regained his place in the first team in the 1982/83 season which he kept until the end of the 1985/86 season when John Wile let him go.

In total Trevor made 201 League appearances (+1 as a sub) scoring 18 goals, 20 FA Cup games, scoring 1 goal, 13 FL Cup games scoring 1 goal and appeared 4 times in other competitions for the Posh.

Did you know: Trevor shared the Posh’s Player of the Season award for the 1982/83 season with another local lad Micky Gynn.