RIP Peter McNamee, the Peterborough United star who knocked Arsenal out of the FA Cup and who was once compared to the great Stanley Matthews

Peter McNamee, the man whose goal for Peterborough United knocked Arsenal out of the FA Cup in 1965 and who once earned a comparison with Sir Stanley Matthews, has passed away today (August 27) at the age of 86.

By Alan Swann
Friday, 27th August 2021, 4:02 pm
The picture in the Evening Telegraph of Peter McNamee scoring for Posh against Arsenel in 1965.
The picture in the Evening Telegraph of Peter McNamee scoring for Posh against Arsenel in 1965.

The brilliant left winger was also a star of the all conquering Posh team that won the 1960-61 Fourth Division title while scoring a record 134 goals. McNamee played in all but two league matches that season.

The 2-1 fourth round win over Arsenal remains the only time Posh have knocked a top flight club out of the FA Cup. McNamee revealed he received ‘a £4 bonus and free drinks all night’ for spiking the Gunners in front of over 30,000 at London Road.

McNamee recalled: “With five minutes left Ron Barnes crossed and I side-footed the ball into the net first time. The Posh fans poured onto the pitch and I was carried back to the centre circle. It took a while to clear the pitch, but it was all good-natured.

Peter McNamee watching a video of Posh beating Arsenal in an FA Cup tie in 1965.

“We saw the game out and enjoyed a great night in town when the players didn’t have to buy a drink all night.

“As a team and a city we enjoyed so many great days. We played in front of a packed Villa Park of over 60,000 in 1961 and I was lucky enough to score and earn a comparison with Stanley Matthews!

“We were watched by huge crowds compared to today’s team. We were getting 12-15,000 every week when the population of Peterborough was just 70,000.”

McNamee first played for Posh aged 20 in 1955 and chalked up over 100 games prior to the club joining the Football League in 1960.

Peter McNamee with his step grandson Jack Bloodworth who was playing for Posh Under 9s.

Manager George Swindon signed the Glasgow-born player and gave him his debut in a 1-0 Midland League win over King’s Lynn. He established himself in the Posh team from the start of the 1957-58 season and helped them to three successive Midland League titles (five in total) after which Posh were promoted to the Football League.

McNamee was noted for his expert close control and great dribbling skills and was a regular starter for the Posh team for the first five seasons of their Football League history.

He scored 68 goals in 212 appearances in the club’s Football League era with his famous FA Cup goal arriving in his last full season at London Road. He also scored 59 goals in 119 appearances in the club’s Midland League days for a total of 127 goals in 331 appearances.

McNamee was awarded a testimonial against St Mirren in 1965.

He went on to play for King’s Lynn before a brief spell back in the Football League with Notts County before retiring in 1966.

McNamee said he knew his time was up when ‘managers started asking me to tackle back’, adding he’d never made a tackle in his life!

McNamee played for and managed March Town after retiring from the professional game and he became a keen golfer.

He leaves a widow Val, and four adult children Paul, Barrie, Lisa and Clare.

There will be a minute’s applause for McNamee and Robbie Cooke, a star Posh striker who passed away recently, ahead of tomorrow’s Championship fixture with West Brom at the Weston Homes Stadium.