Player Profile: Peter Beagrie

Peter Beagrie is perhaps best remembered for his somersaulting goal celebrations and a career that saw him play until he was 40, but often overlooked is the fact that he once rode a motorcycle through a hotel plate glass window.

In his 23 year career the skilful winger lined up for Middlesbrough, Sheffield United, Stoke, Manchester City and Scunthorpe, but his five year spell at Everton from 1989-94 was arguably his most successful, where the smiley faced and sometimes moustachioed player won many admirers for his attacking style of play and penchant for a spectacular goal or two.

His off the field antics mirrored the flair and extravagance he showed on the pitch and this was perfectly emphasised by a moment of drunken destruction during a pre-season tour of Spain whilst with Everton.

After spending his entire cash advance on a boozy late night out following a game with Real Sociedad, Beagrie persuaded a passing motorcyclist to give him a lift back to his hotel. On arrival he decided against waking the night porter and commandeered the Spaniards bike before riding up the hotel steps and straight through a plate glass window of the building.

Unfortunately it was the wrong hotel and Beagrie required 50 stitches.

He left Goodison Park for Manchester City in 1994 for a fee of £1.1million and revelled in the attacking style of play adopted by manager Brian Horton, but he also suffered relegation from the Premier League in 1996.

Plagued by a knee injury that saw him visit a faith healer in a desperate attempt to cure chronic patella tendinitis in his left knee, Beagrie’s acrobatic somersaults were no longer a part of his game, but he continued to dazzle fans with his skill and eye for goal.

After a brief loan spell back at Goodison in 1998, he helped Bradford City gain promotion to the Premier League, but when they were relegated at the at the end of the 2000–01 season he dropped down three divisions to join Scunthorpe United, managed by former teammate Brian Laws.

Snubbing offers from clubs higher up the league table, he was clearly happy to just play the beautiful game in comfortable surroundings and with a friend as manager.

“Obviously there must be something in my genes. Though people have made a massive deal of it, 40 to me is just a number. I don’t feel any different from what I did at 35, and that’s because my attitude to football and my love of it has always been the same, deeply passionate, and it will continue to be until I get out of bed one morning and ask myself why I am punishing my body to such a degree.

“But right now it’s all worthwhile when you run across that white line. It’s not the 4-0 and 5-0 wins that are an encouragement, it’s the scruffy 1-0 win away from home where everybody has been in the trenches together. It’s incredible, the camaraderie in football that has allowed me to make so many friends and share some great stories” he told The Independent.

As his career began to slowly grind to a halt, Beagrie became a cult figure on TV as well as on the terraces, thanks to appearances as a pundit on You’re On Sky Sports and ITV. His cult status was cemented though on Soccer AM where the chant Beagrie Is Mint would be echoed every time his name mentioned, intended as an affectionate nod to his abilities as a player.

His retirement was announced on You’re On Sky Sports in October 2006 after five years with Scunthorpe and a brief spell as player-coach with local rivals Grimsby.

Beagrie was never honoured with a full England cap during his career, but then again how many England internationals have been honoured with the accolade of riding through a plate glass window in a motorcycle?

Tags: Everton, Peter Beagrie

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