Peterborough United fans saluted ‘one of their own’ tonight (March 20) and what a humbling, emotional experience it proved to be at the ABAX Stadium.
Trevor Quow, city born, raised and educated, played for Posh at a time when homegrown stars weren’t told they were better than George Best and weren’t slaughtered by an impatient fanbase just for misplacing the odd pass.
Quow graced the Posh first-team over 230 times, fought back from two broken legs and starred in the dashing, vibrant side assembled by manager Peter Morris, who was here tonight, in the late 1970s, early 1980s.
He was a local hero alongside that other great young local talent of that era Micky Gynn, but Quow readily admitted his best, most rewarding 90 minutes at Posh arrived tonight.
It’s been a hard few years for Quow. His daughter Jada was born eight years ago with a chromosome disorder so rare only one other youngster has ever received the same diagnosis. Life expectancy is not long. His house needs renovating to provide better care prompting new Posh manager Steve Evans, a long-time friend of his former player at Boston United and Stamford, to promote tonight’s fundraising event.
Asked for his all-time favourite Posh moment Quow hesitated, held back a tear or two and said: “It has to be tonight. I was a young man with big dreams and big ambitions, one of which was to play for my hometown football club. I’m basically a proud, humble Peterborian and I’m taken aback by what has happened tonight. I cannot thank everyone enough for turning up and helping me out.”
Quow’s manner is such he was probably as thrilled to be honoured by a surprise induction into the Posh Hall of Fame as he was to find strangers walking up to him at the end of the night thrusting large domination notes into his hand.
A three-item auction raised £850 in a matter of minutes. A signed Posh shirt went for £200, a day as a Posh director sold for £100 to the Posh Independent Supporters Association (PISA) who generously announced they would sub-auction their prize to raise further funds, while a day at the Posh training ground fetched £550 thanks to some smart auctioneering by a typically bubbly Barry Fry.
Fry preceded his patter by declaring Evans to be a ‘winner’. “He has taken many players Posh didn’t want and won promotion with them so he must be good,” Fry announced.
Evans and his faithful assistant Paul Raynor were lobbed a few gentle questions as part of the night’s activities. They didn’t struggle with comments about the role of Leo Da Silva Lopes (‘he’s got two great feet and great vision. He’s a special talent who has the weight of Peterborough on his shoulders’) the reason for selecting Jermaine Anderson last Saturday (‘he’d been like a Champions League player in training’) or their favourite playing system (‘two strikers’, which could be slightly worrying for Junior Morias and Omar Bogle who haven’t cemented that place alongside Marriott since the new men took over).
Pre ‘Q and A’ sweepstakes were over quickly as Evans mentioned Leeds United within five minutes and swore after six minutes. He insisted he’d deliver the quickest resignation letter in history if chairman Darragh MacAnthony ever tried to pick the team, quicker even than the apparently tough resignation letter he wrote to Mansfield Town when Posh came calling last month.
Raynor is no ‘yes’ man like Phil Neal and he is unbothered by the fact Posh paid compensation for Evans and not him. “I’ve had many free transfers in my career,” Raymor chuckled. “One more doesn’t bother me.”
Evans also admitted he would find the summer tough if Posh were still in League One, but Raynor was happy to state clearly he expected his new team to reach the play-offs at the very least this season. Evans probably agrees as he thinks top scorer Jack Marriott is better than Chris Wood, who was outstanding for Leeds United in the Championship, and that George Cooper has ‘a wand of a left foot who could land a football on a toadstool’.
Quite the image that, but there will be only one abiding memory from tonight and that was the sight of a player who last played for Posh 32 years ago (and one that even dared to play for Cobblers later in his career) receiving so many good wishes from the club’s loyal fanbase.
Well played Posh. Well played Trevor and Steve Evans. Well played the 100 Posh fans who turned up. Awesome performances all round.