Peterborough United star Noel Luke remembers: A cream pie in the face for Chris Turner, a brutal departure from London Road and his life after Posh
And right-back Noel Luke was in pretty good spirits after Posh had fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Chesterfield on the final day of the 1990-91 season to earn promotion from Division Four.
“We went 2-0 down and never felt we would lose,” Luke recalled. “We were fit and confident.
“I took the corner from which Dave Robinson headed our first goal and then we scored from a long throw.
“We knew we were up before the final whistle and the scenes at the end of the game were memorable.
“The team had a reception at the George, Stamford and we had to let our hair down a bit.
“Obviouly we were all in good spirits and I managed to find a cream pie and slam it into Chris Turner’s face.
“There’s a photo of it knocking around somewhere. It was a bit childish, but it was funny at the time.
“I remember those celebrations more than the ones after Wembley.”
A brutal dismissal of a most loyal Posh servant
After seven seasons, 346 first-team appearances and 31 goals, Noel Luke’s departure from Posh in March, 1993 left a bad taste in the mouth.
“We had a game on a Tuesday and we did our shape and everything on Monday as normal,” Luke stated.
“But when I arrived at the ground on the Tuesday I was told Lil Fucillo (Chris Turner had moved upstairs after buying the club, installing Fuccillo as manager) wanted to see me.
“He was blunt and told me he wanted to get a player in before transfer deadline day which was a couple of days later and that I would have to leave and make way.
“The club could get away with this as I was on a week-to-week contract, but I was stunned that I could be treated like that after seven years service.
“I didn’t travel to the game that night and Posh signed Chris Greenman to replace me.”
Luke was on a week-to-week contract because he refused to sign a new deal the club had offered.
“No professional player would have signed what I’d been offered,” Luke insisted.
From Baggies to Stags and then greatness
Noel Luke was born in Birmingham in 1964 and joinedWest Bromwich Albion’s youth set up at the age of 14.
“When I reached 17 first-team manager Ron Atkinson gave me my first professional contract,” Luke said.
“It was a great day for me as this was the West Brom of Brendan Batson, Laurie Cunningham and Cyrille Regis and we were a top side.
“But Ron went to Manchester United soon afterwards and took Bryan Robson and Remi Moses with him so we never got to win the trophies we should have won.
“I stayed there for a few years making about a dozen first-team appearances as a winger, but then Johnny Giles turned up as manager and the club ran into financial difficulties.
“Giles was told to cut costs so he got rid of the entire reserve team and I ended up going to Mansfield!”
Luke played 50 Football League matches for the Stags before making the move that would transform his career.
John Wile, a West Brom legend himself, signed Luke.
“Noel is an exciting player,” Wile said rather prophetically.
HALL OF FAME HIGHLIGHT AFTER RETIREMENT
Noel Luke was inducted into the Posh Hall of Fame on November 2, 2013.
He made 276 Football League appearances for the club between 1986 and 1993 and 70 cup/play-off appearances, scoring 31 goals in all competitions.
After leaving Posh Luke, who is now 55, played briefly for Rochdale and then Boston United.
He then dropped down to play for Holbeach, Corby, King’s Lynn and Raunds Town before finally hanging up his boots.
A couple of years into his retirement Noel Luke returned to London Road to become landlord of the ‘Posh Pub’ which was situated within the football stadium.
Luke also worked inPosh matchday hospitality until the end of last season, a role he gave up so he could watch some higher level football, mainly at West Brom who honoured him with a playing ‘cap’ recently.
Noel now works as a HGV driver for Tesco’s