Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Header Hero Alan Is a True Footballing Legend; WITH the New Middlesbrough Season under Way, Remember When Columnist Dave Connor Puts Football Firmly in the Spotlight. after Sharing Memories with the Club's Former Footballing Star Alan Peacock, He Today Charts the History of the Boro Legend

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Header Hero Alan Is a True Footballing Legend; WITH the New Middlesbrough Season under Way, Remember When Columnist Dave Connor Puts Football Firmly in the Spotlight. after Sharing Memories with the Club's Former Footballing Star Alan Peacock, He Today Charts the History of the Boro Legend

Article excerpt

BORN on October 29, 1937, in Stephenson Street, North Ormesby, Alan Peacock attended Lawson and Smeaton Street School.

He then went to work at Cargo Fleet Steelworks and did his National Service in the Army.

He signed for Middlesbrough in 1954 on a part-time basis, as he was still working at Cargo Fleet.

Alan wanted to be a draftsman but he could not get the required time off work for college as he trained on a Tuesday and Thursday and went to night school three nights a week.

He therefore became a fitter and turner at the works.

Alan did not sign as a fulltime professional with Middlesbrough until he was 23. He made his debut in the 1955-56 season - the same season as Brian Clough - in the away game to Bristol Rovers where Middlesbrough were beaten 7-2 on November 19, 1955.

He scored his first goals for the club, two of them, in the 4-2 win away to Nottingham Forest on March 17, 1956.

Alan made six appearances in the first season.

It was not long after Alan signed that he was chosen to play for England Youth team.

The next season - 1956-57 - Alan made only four appearances for the club as Middlesbrough opted to play Arthur Fitzsimons in the inside forward position. Brian Clough started his goal scoring this season, playing 41 games and scoring 38 goals.

Alan worked shifts at Cargo Fleet and if he was on 6am-2pm on a Saturday, they would let him leave at noon.

He would be seen in his working clothes on the trackless bus to North Ormesby and then the football special bus to Ayresome Park, mingling with the supporters and hoping there would not be any delays in getting to the ground on time.

This was a far cry from the way players are today.

Alan would often be seen in his working gear and Brian in his RAF uniform prior to the game.

The magic forward line of Day, Mclean, Clough, Peacock and Holliday got PS6 a week during the playing season and PS1 a week during the summer.

Edwin Holliday got PS3 a week in the summer as he was working on the ground staff.

The 1957-58 season was to be the start of the Clough/ Peacock partnership which would last for four seasons together with Brian being top scorer and Alan being the second top scorer.

During this season, Middlesbrough played their first league game under floodlights at home to Leyton Orient, winning 2-0 with Alan scoring both goals.

Alan got the nickname "Peachey" during this period.

Due to his excellent all-round displays, he was the perfect foil for Brian and made plenty of the goals that made Brian such a prolific goal scorer due to heading ability and unselfish attitude in front of goal.

During their time together Brian played 222 games, scoring 204 goals and Alan played 141, scoring 68.

In the season 1959-60 Middlesbrough had a fantastic away score, winning 7-1 at Derby, with Alan scoring four and Brian not getting on the score sheet.

Alan came more into his own after Brian departed for Sunderland in July 1961.

He made the number 9 shirt his own and his ability came to the fore. In 1961-62 he played 41 games, scoring 32 goals.

In the 1962-63 season he played 44 games scoring 33 goals. But, due to injuries in the 1963-64 season, he played only 12 games scoring eight goals.

Alan's goal scoring was to bring him into the England squad under the management of Walter Winterbottom who described Alan has "the finest header of the ball in the country at the time."

Alan was chosen as part of the squad for the 1962 World Cup Finals in Chile.

He made his international debut in the game against Argentina, winning 3-1. Alan had a hand in two of the goals. His header was going in when the Argentina captain handled the ball, Ron Flowers scoring the resulting penalty and clever footwork setting Jimmy Greaves up for the third. …

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