When Peterborough United v Coventry was the biggest game of the season at London Road

There was a time when Peterborough United v Coventry City was the most eagerly-anticipated match of the season at London Road.

By Alan Swann
Thursday, 14th March 2019, 6:00 am
Derek Dougan (left) in action for Posh in 1964.
Derek Dougan (left) in action for Posh in 1964.

Indeed the 26.307 who crammed into the Posh stadium for the final home match of the 1963-64 campaign remains a club record for a Football League match by almost 3,500 fans.

Posh superstar Derek Dougan and debutant Peter Thompson scored the goals in a 2-0 win for Posh, one that almost denied a Coventry side managed by future TV personality Jimmy Hill the title.

Luckily for them rivals Crystal Palace cocked up their final game leaving City to pick up the title on goal average.

A recent photo of Peter McNamee.

Left-winger for Posh in that memorable win over Coventry was Peter McNamee, a star of the all-conquering 1960-61 Fourth Division title winning side and a man still going strong in the city at the age of 83.

“I remember someone coming into the dressing room before the game and telling us they’d had to lock the gates there were so many fans in the ground.” McNamee recalled. “And that excited us as we were always a team who rose to the big occasion.

“Coventry were a big club from a big city and we developed a little bit of a rivalry back in those days, but with Derek Dougan in our side we fancied we could beat anyone.

“What a player he was. It was remarkable he was playing for little old Peterborough .

“He had one flaw and that was not being able to kick the ball very hard, but my goodness he could head it He scored and set up so many goals, but not many with shots from outside the penalty area. The goalkeeper would have to be blind for that to happen!

“I feel lucky to have played for such a great club with so many great players and I loved the city so much I never left even when I joined Notts County for a season at the end of my career.

“I’d love Posh to be successful again, but I don’t go and watch any more. I don’t like criticising anyone and I’d find it difficult not to if I was watching a modern game.”

Northern Ireland international Dougan scored 46 goals in 90 games for Posh before moving to Leicester City for £35k in 1967. Posh claimed at the time they couldn’t meet his wage demands.

Posh v Coventry, 1964: Duff, Hopkins, Singleton, Wright, Rankmore, Jackson, Thompson, Moulden, Dougan, Smith, McNamee.

Top 10 Posh Football League attendances:

1) 26,307 v Coventry Division Three, 1964.

2) 22,959 v Northampton, Division Four, 1960.

3) 21,171 v Crystal Palace Division Four, 1960.

4) 18,078 v Watford Division Three, 1961

5) 17,569 v Gillingham Division Four, 1974.

6) 17,518 v Northampton, Division Three, 1963.

7) 17,294 v Wrexham, Division, Division Four, 1960.

8) 17,268 v Bournemouth, Division Three, 1961

9) 17,106 v Shrewsbury, Division Three, 1961

10) 17,096 v Southport, Division Four, 1960.