PETERBOROUGH SPORTS TRIBUTE: A '˜four-midable season'
It's been a sensational season for Peterborough Sports FC, or the '˜Four-midables' as they will forever be known.
A team put together by charismatic chairman Stephen ‘Tommy’ Cooper and inspirational rookie manager Jimmy Dean won all four local competitions they entered.Sports won the United Counties Division One title, the United Counties League Cup, the Hinchingbrooke Cup and the Northants Junior Cup.
Here is the story of the season in their own words.
Jimmy Dean said: ‘Last year while I was waiting for an operation, as I had been injured playing for St Ives, I had an SOS message from Tommy Cooper to get involved at Peterborough Sports and if I’m honest I had no interest in doing it.
I was slightly depressed at the thought of not playing again, and after some heavy persuasion from Tommy, Chris Plummer (former Sports boss) and my partner to do it I eventually gave in and I admit I have found a new lease of life doing the job.
I have fallen in love with football management.
My remit was promotion, but I knew with my contacts, and having a lot of close friends from higher levels, we could do better than that.
I expected us to win the Northants Cup & United Counties Division One title because I believed we were comfortably the best team in both competitions.
But to then go and win the League Cup (and to become the first ever Step 6 side to do so after so many big hitters had failed) and also the Hinchingbrooke Cup when both competitions included the UCL Premier Division winners Kempston was a fantastic achievement.
Our quadruple has never been done before, nor I doubt will again, and I am just so proud of the lads for what they have done.
My favourite win of the season was away at Newmarket which nearly gave me a heart-attack after throwing away a three-goal lead.
My favourite performances were the two games on the FA Cup against Hitchin, who finished third in the Southern League Prem (three divisions above us) and I think if Jordan Macleod hadn’t got injured we would have won.
A big thanks has to go to all my staff, our fans who have supported us and a special thank-you to big Tom, the man who believed in me and backed me when everyone thought he was crazy!
Ultimately the final word should go to my players for believing in me and working so hard. They really are a special bunch of lads to me and I’ll remember what we’ve achieved till the day I die.’
Stephen ‘Tommy’ Cooper said: “A personal highlight for me was obviously seeing the punt I took on giving the manager’s’ job to Jimmy Dean pay off in such incredible fashion.
He was a natural leader on the pitch as a player and I had been in his ear for a few years about moving into management for me at some stage.
Once he gets a bit of confidence the sky will be the limit for him.
On the pitch, winning the first 21 games made the top target of promotion from Division One something of a formality a long way from home.
To win all 18 home games was great, yet it was games on the road, and especially the first-half performances at Olney, Blackstones and Irchester, that come readily to mind.
After those games I became convinced we would enjoy a great season.
The FA Cup and all the national attention that went with it, including having the trophy and TV cameras at the ground, was fabulous.
The 5-3 win at Newmarket and taking Hitchin Town from three leagues higher to extra-time in a replay will live long in the memory.
Of the other cups, naturally winning the UCL League Cup is the clear headline act as we became the first club from Division One to ever pick up the trophy and we did it by beating four Premier Division sides along the way.
Some big hitters like Rushden & Diamonds had tried in the past but were never able to pull it off.
Victories over higher level Cogenhoe and Godmanchester in the cups were two high-class performances which would suggest we can certainly be competitive next year too.’
Spotlight on the Peterborough Sports players, provided by the chairman, will appear online tomorrow (May 29).