Posh Diary: Posh swinging in the sixties too

Terry Bly finds the back of the net for Posh in the 1960-61 season when he scored 52 league goals. Photo: Peterborough ET Archive
Terry Bly finds the back of the net for Posh in the 1960-61 season when he scored 52 league goals. Photo: Peterborough ET Archive
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It may surprise the current crop of fans to know that there were outstanding Posh teams before the days of Darren Ferguson and Darragh MacAnthony.

The 1973-74 Fourth Division squad was a formidable outfit, but the sixties, certainly the early part of the decade, was a swinging time to be a Posh fan.

Dennis Emery

The statistics say it all on behalf of this mesmerising inside forward.

In 205 Midland League appearances Emery notched 171 goals to help Posh to five consecutive titles and ultimately promotion to the Football League in time for the 1960-61 Fourth Division season.

Emery then scored 29 goals in 68 Football League games, (including the very first League goal by a Posh player in a 3-0 win over Wrexham) for Posh before a car accident cut short a quite brilliant career.

Add in 31 FA Cup goals in 33 matches (including at least one goal in 10 successive ties) and you have some idea of why he’s rated the best-ever Posh player by so many people.

But he wasn’t just about goals.

Posh historian Peter Lane, who organised the Hall of Fame presentation to Emery’s family at London Road last week, said: “He’s the best Posh player I have seen by a mile. He scored plenty of goals, but he created so many others and he was amazingly consistent.

“I have no doubts that he could have gone to the very top but for the car accident, although he always used to say that he only wanted to get to the top with Posh.

“He was a great player, People rave about George Boyd now and he is an extremely good player, but Dennis was more consistent and today’s fans would have loved him.”

Other stars from the swinging sixties

Derek Dougan

Arguably the most stunning signing in Posh history.

Centre-forward Dougan was already a big, if extremely controversial, name before Posh boss Jack Fairbrother signed him in the summer of 1963.

Dougan had demanded a transfer from Blackburn on the morning of the 1960 FA Cup Final and then quit football altogether after a few run-ins with the management at Aston Villa.

But Fairbrother chanced his arm, famously tracked Dougan down in Germany and so impressed the Northern Ireland star with his determination and initiative, he agreed to join a club in Division Three.

It was inevitable Dougan wouldn’t stay long, but what an impact he made. he bashed in 46 goals in 90 appearances, including the equaliser in the famous 2-1 win over Arsenal in the FA Cup at London Road in 1965.

Posh sold Dougan to Leicester for £35,000 the following summer after failing to meet his wage demands.

Terry Bly

The man who claimed most of the glory from the all-conquering 1960-61 team. That’s what scoring 52 (seven hat-tricks) of the club’s 134 Division Four goals will do for a centre-forward’s reputation.

But Bly, who was himself inducted into the Posh Hall of Fame a couple of years ago, was the first to admit he was lucky to play alongside the likes of Emery, Peter McNamee and Billy Hails.

Bly scored 54 goals in all competitions in that season. He scored 87 goals in just 101 games for Posh before Jimmy Hill took him to Coventry for £10,000.

John Wile

The best Posh defender of the 1960s went on to have a fantastic career at West Brom, for whom he played over 500 competitive matches after leaving London Road in 1970.

Wile Joined Posh from his native Sunderland as a youngster in the mid 1960s and once in the first team he stayed there thanks to some dogged, brave performances.

He played 125 matches for Posh before leaving for the Hawthorns, but 12 years after quitting London Road, he returned as player-manager.

Sadly, while still combative as a centre-back, he was a poor manager during a difficult period for the club. He retired with 236 Posh appearances under his belt.

Ollie Conmy

Conmy was a midfield magician who racked up 304 appearances and 44 goals for Posh between 1964 and 1972. He also won five Ireland caps while at London Road.

Conmy was a key part of the team that reached the FA Cup quarter finals in the 1964-65 season. He also scored League Cup goals during giant-killing wins over Newcastle and Burnley, who were top of the First Division at the time.

Conmy made light of his slight frame to regularly dominate matches. He was a firm fans’ favourite as his silky skills were harnassed to a whole-hearted attitude.

Peter McNamee

This dazzling left-winger had already played 100 times for Posh before they reached the Football League in 1960. He went on to play over 200 more games for the club before retirement in 1966.

McNamee was a star of the club’s famous five attackers that smashed in 134 Fourth Division goals in their debut Football League season in 1960-61. The winger’s share was 16.

But McNamee’s most famous goal was the winner in that FA Cup tie against Arsenal in 1965. He was on hand to tap into an empty net after Ron Barnes had skipped past Gunners full-back Don Howe and crossed from the right wing.

YOUR POSH STARS FROM THE 60s

“There is no contest for favourite Posh footballer of the 1960s. It’s Jim Hall.”

Brian Swann

West Town

“My Dad always used to bang on about Dennis Emery. Better than Pele apparently! He didn’t half used to talk some rubbish mind.”

@Tasker40

“My favourite player from the 1960s was Jim Walker. A quality full-back and a real gent.”

@Greensleeves

“John Wile was an excellent centre-half but a terrible manager.”

@Werrington2

“No-one else is fit to lace Dennis Emery’s boots.”

@golden_oldie

“The Doog was great to watch. No-one could head a ball like him.”

Tom Jackson

Ramsey

WHO is your favourite Posh star from the sixties? E-mail alan.swann@jpress or on Twitter @swannyposh