An all-star tribute to Peter the Great - 02/12/2003
He's a master!
The world of football united to honour Newcastle great Peter Beardsley
last night at a star- studded dinner on Tyneside.
Special guest Kevin Keegan, who played alongside and went on to manage the former England striker at St James's Park, led the tributes at the sell-out Variety Club event.
And United's former boss was joined in his praise of Beardsley by
current Magpies' manager Sir Bobby Robson, club captain Alan Shearer,
and ex-players John Barnes, Philippe Albert, Les Ferdinand, John
Beresford and Warren Barton.
Barton, appointed as the new Professional Footballers Association
chairman last month, revealed: "I cannot think of a better role model
for current or future players than Peter Beardsley.
"I learnt so much from him when I first came to the North-East and I
will always owe a great debt of gratitude to him.
"He made it clear from the outset that when you represented Newcastle
United you became a part of the city.
"You gave yourself to the fans in the same way they flocked to support
the club every Saturday.
"That was a lesson I never forgot and it was typical of Peter. The way
he conducts himself on and off the pitch is a credit to the game and
it wasn't unusual for opposition supporters to cheer his name when we
played away. That's how highly regarded he is.
"As a player he was one of the most talented I have ever had the
pleasure of playing alongside.
"I played for Newcastle and England with Peter and some of his
football was quite incredible."
Beardsley scored 124 goals in two spells with Newcastle and, for many
supporters, remains the greatest United player in the modern era.
Last night's dinner at the Marriott Gosforth Park Hotel sold out
Keegan said: "Everybody in football has the utmost respect for him and
I'm right at the front of the queue of those people who respect him
most." Beardsley, now working in a public relations' role for Newcastle, admitted: "This is a great honour for me.
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