It’s nearly 25 years since Liverpool, Everton and England international Peter Beardsley achieved a unique record in British football.
He became the only man in history to play for the four top flight clubs of both Liverpool and Manchester when he went out on loan to Manchester City in 1998.
Beardsley enjoyed an outstanding spell for Liverpool from 1987 to 1991, which saw him win the league twice as well as the FA Cup after joining from Newcastle United.
He was Everton’s top scorer during his time at Goodison Park from 1991 to 1993 and was at Manchester United for a season in 1982-3.
The talented forward and midfielder also won 59 caps for England from 1986 and 1996, playing in two FIFA World Cups and the UEFA Euro championships of 1988.
Before coming to Merseyside, Beardsley took his first steps in football at Wallsend Boys Club in North Tyneside before becoming a youth player for Newcastle United.
His professional career really started at Carlisle United in 1978 when he was 17. He made 104 league appearances, scoring 22 goals. Carlisle won promotion to Division Two in 1982.
In the 1982-3 season, Beardsley played 48 matches for Vancouver Whitecaps and also spent time at Old Trafford with Manchester United.
In spite of his incisive runs and pinpoint passing, Beardsley found it hard to break into the Red Devils’ first team. He ended up playing one League Cup match against Bournemouth.
In September 1983, he returned to Newcastle where his skills and pace made him a big hit with the St James’s Park faithful.
Promotion to the First Division was achieved in Beardsley’s first season. He scored 20 goals in a powerful attacking partnership with former Liverpool legend Kevin Keegan.
Beardsley was an established England player by the time Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish signed him for the Reds for a record transfer fee of £1.9 million in July 1987. He’d scored 61 goals for Newcastle in 147 league appearances.
Beardsley made his Liverpool debut in the 2-1 league victory over Arsenal at Highbury on August 15th 1987. He scored his first goal a fortnight later in the 4-1 away win over Coventry City.
Liverpool won the league at a canter with an undefeated run of 29 league matches, but lost the FA Cup final 1-0 to Wimbledon. Beardsley had a goal disallowed.
The Reds won the FA Cup the following year, beating Everton 3-2 in the Merseyside derby, but missed out on the league championship in a dramatic final match at Anfield.
A last-minute Arsenal goal set up a 2-0 victory – enough to clinch the title for the Gunners on goal difference.
The season was entirely overshadowed by the Hillsborough disaster of April 15th 1989 when 94 fans died in the crush on the terraces at the FA Cup semi-final. The death toll eventually reached 96.
Beardsley and his team-mates were left distraught by the tragedy. They attended several funerals and visited injured supporters in hospital.
Liverpool won the title again in the 1989-90 season, finishing nine points ahead of Aston Villa.
The next season saw Beardsley score a memorable hat-trick in a 4-0 league victory over Manchester United and two more goals against Everton in a 3-2 win a week later.
Beardsley signed for Everton in August 1991 for a transfer fee of £1 million. He’d notched up 59 goals in 175 matches during his five years at Anfield.
He made his debut for Everton in a league match against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground. The Toffees lost 2-1. Undeterred, Beardsley ended the season as Everton’s top scorer with 20 goals in all competitions.
After one more season at Goodison Park, Beardsley returned to Newcastle for £1.5 million. He scored 32 goals in 95 appearances for Everton.
After signing for Bolton Wanderers in 1997, Beardsley went out on loan to Manchester City where he played six matches without scoring.
It was a different story playing for England. He scored nine times in 59 appearances that included the 1986 and 1990 World Cups as well as Euro 1988.
As well as creating opportunities for his team-mates, Beardsley scored a critical goal in the 3-0 second round victory over Paraguay in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
Finally, Beardsley showed his musical side when he recorded the England anthem World in Motion with New Order in 1990. Also on the track were Steve McMahon, Chris Waddle, John Barnes and Des Walker.
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