My Mate Pete Storey

Like many Gooners I watched the Blackburn and Wigan games and seeing our players being bossed did not make me happy. Leaving aside the goalkeeper who has been done to a fractious death over the last couple of days, I asked myself who would I have liked out there, what single player would I have chosen to put on that pitch in an Arsenal shirt.

We have had some centre halves who could look after themselves, Frank McLintock would have been roaring, getting stuck in alongside Sol making our defence more scared of him and failure than they were of any opposing player.

Tony Adams too would have had some one by the throat and Steve Bould also would have lapped it up, imagine Martin Keowne sitting watching that, he would have been beside himself. Looking back, the list is long and we all would have our favourites.

But for me, I would play Peter Storey in front of the center halves. Pete is rightly a folk hero for the 1971FA Cup semi final where his two-second half goals including an injury time penalty, pulled us back from the dead, got us a replay and eventually allowed us to do the double.

I was there that day perched high up on the banking to the side of the goal but the penalty was at the other end. I could see poor Pete putting the ball on the spot while the rest of the team were hugging each other certain that he would deliver. Gordon Banks the best GK in the world at the time facing him, swaying left and right on the goal line he swayed right Pete hit it to his left GOAL!!!, pandemonium reined

But there was much more to Pete than that, as his 19 games for England testify. Making him incidentally the most capped of that legendary side.

But most of all I remember an evening match against Leeds in the seventies at Highbury under the lights; Pete, Norman Hunter and Johnny Giles were at it all night, I think it was a 1 –1 draw. No quarter was asked or given, as three of the hardest men ever to play top-flight football fought it out.

A top journalist of the day likened Storey to a JCB shovelling up anything that got in his way that night, another begun his article “as I walked the streets of London last night after leaving Highbury, I was still shaking at the ferocity of the Storey/Hunter confrontation I had just witnessed”.

Would he I wonder have shaken after Sunday’s toothless display, I think not, unless like many of us including Arsene it was in anger. Alright I know that kind of tackling often from behind has gone, outlawed in a game that has become less and less of a contact sport, which makes Sundays refereeing all the stranger.

But the commitment, the determination to play whether injured or not, the pride in the shirt and the willingness to die for the cause and run through the proverbial brick walls if necessary would be priceless in today’s team.

I never met Peter Storey as I have several of the others, but I called him my mate because I reckoned his love of the Arsenal matched my own in those far off days.

So that is who I would play to wake this current lot up, who I wonder would you like back in the team?


50 Responses to My Mate Pete Storey

  1. adam says:

    I was there at Hillsborough that day too and I went to the replay the following week. You are right about Storey. He was as hard as nails and took no shit from anyone. Apparently he was also very quiet and somewhat introverted. I doubt Allardyce’s thugs would have been able to bully our team if we had him in the squad, though with the referee’s bias against us these days I also doubt that he’d finish many matches.

  2. dandan says:

    Rasp just noticed I got that wrong I meant to say……But for me I would play Peter Storey in front of the centre halves, could you amend it please

  3. Pat7 says:

    Great post – really brought back the memories & pride. Shame the kids out there at the mo’, or at least most of them haven’t any of that passion………

  4. Doublegooner says:

    Our mate Snouty, brings back the proper football days,

    Can still see myself with my dad sitting in the main stand nearest the end where he lined up to take that penelty & the excitement when the ball ended up past Banks.

    I was lucky enough to meet him 3 times. My old man knew a few of the players back then & he was asked to take his girlfriend in our car to the Wembley final.

  5. Rasputin says:

    Post ammended dandan, and what a great article it is. Its a horrible cold damp non-football day, your reminiscences have warmed the cockles of my heart 😉

  6. Alfa says:

    Hi all, great post and I wish I’d been there. Watching the final on B+W TV was the first time I saw Arsenal play a whole match.

    What about Willie Young? …I’m kidding, I’m kidding 😆

    If we are talking the old(ish) days I’d take Bob Wilson to claim all those high balls and not get barged out of the way.

    PV is too obvious but don’t forget how Song and Diaby got the better of him against Man City. One day our kids will be blogging about them in the same way.

  7. th14 says:

    Top memory, top player. I was 10 and at the ground with my dad. We will get back our spirit. Memories like this guarantee it.

  8. Big Raddy says:

    A fine start to the day DanDan. No doubting Storey’s strength, but he was also a fine passer of the ball. He remains one of my all time faves.

    As to the question of who I would choose to be in the current side, I would have to say PV4 in his pomp. The man had it all, leadership, power, aggression, passing ability and unquenchable spirit.

    The best DM I have seen in an Arsenal shirt. Anyone privileged enough to see his first game for us will never forget it.

  9. KC says:

    I like Pete Storey, for his destryoer role. But, sadly, in modern football he will be hounded out by referees and press.

  10. el tel says:

    Fantastic article,

    I was there at the replay in 71 with my Dad. 10 years old.

    the car broke down on the way there but Dad abandoned it for another time and we got a lift in a van with other Arsenal fans.

    That was one of the best days of my life and cemented The Arsenal into my heart.

    I didn’t actually see much of the game or remember any of it but the atmosphere was unbelievable.

    Every single playe rof that Team had The Arsenal in their Hearts and all of them still do. We will never have that cameraderie ever again.

    Peter Storey was the mutts nuts but then so were all the guys.

  11. very nicely done, dandan

    would agree with, BR, in that PV4 at his very pomp was an awesome, destructive, elegant, general of the football field.

  12. kelsey says:

    Great article dandan, and it’s nice and nearly unique that we on here can attract the older supporter who have been through the good, the bad a nd the ugly.

    I was also there and the replay at Villa Park and then of course on to Wembley,with the little matter of securing the league down the road, sandwiched inbetween.

    It has to be stressed yet again that having won the Fairs Cup Final the year before, that it had been a whole 17 years without a trophy,prior to then.

    The younger supporters don’t realise how lucky they are to have started following the club in the Wenger years, and as much as i would like to see another trophy on the table, 5 years or more is not the end of the world as financial stability will be the winner in the long term.
    So many football supporters just don’t realise that without being prudent we possibly could end up like Portsmouth, in a FA Cup Final with 135 million in debt and the figure keeps rising.

    I liken Song to Storey given another year or two, and Storey made over 500 appearances for us, how often in the future will one be able to say that about any future PL player. Thanks for a trip down memory lane.

  13. el tel says:


    Would your ID be anything to do with big Jack?

    Fantastic point regarding Song, the lad gets slaughtered by some fans but you are right he is like Peter Storey.

    Good shout.

  14. Rasputin says:

    Welcome to the site el tel,

    kelsey cannot always respond to other bloggers as his access to the site is limited so I will answer on his behalf – you are correct, his blogname plays homage to the great Jack Kelsey (aplologies kelsey if you were planning to answer)

  15. kelsey says:

    el tel,

    I have been asked this many times. the answer is yes. I had the pleasure to sit next to him on the plane over to Brussels for the first leg against Anderlecht, he was of course retired by then, unfortunately for him.Played in the World Cup for Wales,
    and was reported to have the widest hand span of any keeper at the time.he was a gentle giant, a really nice man, and a pleasure to have met him.

    I still regard him as the best keeper we ever had.

    No probs rasp, but thanks anyway.

  16. Beardy says:

    You may be interested to know that Peter Storey’s auto-biography is coming out later this year. I’m sure there will be some book signings with the great man in various parts of North London. I think the book is due in September.

  17. el tel says:

    Thanks Guys.

    I am too young to remember Big Jack in his playing days but remember him working in the Arsenal shop just outside the Clock End, My Dad and Grandad told me stories about Jacks heroics.

    I have his autograph along with hundreds of others in the mid seventies when I bunked off school every Friday to go see the Players outside the Ground before and after training sessions.

    Them Boys in the Brady days knew me and my mates really well and some of the guys used to take time to chat to us, we even got into the training area under the Clock end once to watch them train.

    Golden days that I doubt the young of today will ever be able to experience.

  18. el tel says:

    Cheers for that Beardy,

    I reckon Peters book will be interesting as he had a terrible life outside football. He was caught up in crime.

  19. el tel says:

    Hi Big Raddy,

    Although I agree with your earlier comment regarding PV4. I doubt if Roy Keane would have enjoyed mixing it with Peter Storey quite so much.

    Both fantastic players though.

  20. Chippy says:

    Wicked Article and a thouroghly enjoyable read, Blimey think all the bases have been covered paddy etc I was always a fan of Richardson never thought he received the aclsim he deserved proper hard as nails lad and another player I always liked but wasn’t around our parts for long was old stefan swarchz spelling? Think he’d be a good player in this side and bring something we lack,

  21. el tel says:

    Chippy (Brady I assume)

    Kevin Richardson was a very good Team player who won things for Everton then us.

    I also liked Brian Marwood at that time as he was one of the best crossers of a ball I have seen, would be good to ask Smudger about this as he was the main benefactor of those crosses.

  22. storey certainly did have a very colourfil life outside of football.. the book should provide some good storeys.

    couldn’t help myself.

  23. London says:

    Peter, Peter Storey ooh ooh

    Peter, Peter Storey ooh ooh

    Great read DanDan.

    It’s Storey all the way for me, I’m welling up thinking of how much fight and commitment he gave to Arsenal.

    Superb choice of picture, I am guessing that that is the work of Rasp. I love that little grin.

    Peter, Peter Storey ooh ooh

  24. dandan says:

    Another fav Pete memory was at Highbury, we were stood in our spot at the clock end, our old spot under the TV cameras, had become all seater.

    We were playing Notts Forest a guy called Peter Cormack was putting it about. Forrest had a corner Storey was marking Cormack the ball came over and was cleared upfield. Cormack meanwhile was on the floor, Pete looked around as the penalty area cleared, the Ref and linesman were chasing the ball. Pete calmly took aim and placed a precision toe-poke on Cormack thigh.The perfect dead leg, on came the stretcher off went Cormack on came a sub, Naughty boy My mate Pete LOL

  25. Chippy says:

    El Tel,
    Yep Brian brian Marwood on the wingggggg, lol had a great couple of seasons didn’t he I remember being up at forest and he tore them apart they couldn’t get anywhere near him lol, Im sure Smudge appreciated him greatly, Not sure his crosses would lead to as many goals in this current side tho, For all that tho one of my Favs ever was our super little swede Anders what a player he was!! Remember him lobbing the Ginger scousers keeper hooper I think from just inside our half years before beckham 😉 Stewart robson would add alot to this side as well,

  26. hugely underrated player, stewart robson.

    injury robbed us of an exceptional talent.

  27. Chippy says:

    Indeed it did mate such a shame that he could never fulfill his undoubted potential, Again remember him I think it was against Luton but I may be wrong on that,anyway we kicked of for the game and with virtually no backswing he sent a rocket towards the goal from the centre circle spot and I cannot remember for sure but it either hit the post or went narrowly wide I’d never seen anything like or before or since!!!!

  28. dandan says:

    Kelsey. Re Your forecast that a PL club might go broke this year, Liverpool have just had to pre-present their accounts to the league to make sure they could have the licence renewed. They are paying £110,000 per day in interest on the current debt of £473 million and climbing. See here

    Where as we are seeing our debt decline year on year,
    and have pennies to spend this year, mind you just how much is available will depend on what happens to the markets in this dodgy time before the transfer window opens

  29. chippy – he was right up there as one of the best young talents in europe when coming through as a teenager.

    on top of the amazing talent, he had a proper football brain to go with it.

    has made the step up to commentator/writer admirably, his thoughts/musings are always noteworthy.

  30. Big Raddy says:

    Let’s hope that Ramsey doesn’t suffer the same fate.

  31. Chippy says:

    For sure on that he was starting to gain the confidence to go with the ability he’s some prospect, Hes Gerard like but with better passing ability, Hes probably the young player I look forward to seeing grow up the most,

    Holy shit 110k a day that’s 3/4 of amill a week they are truly fucked and with no new ground they are not a good proposition to buy ! They could be truly fucked for generations

  32. Big Raddy says:

    That is tragic news…… 😉

  33. SharkeySure says:

    Raddy – “I would have to say PV4 in his pomp. The man had it all, leadership, power, aggression, passing ability and unquenchable spirit.”

    Thats it in a nutshell. Best player I’ve ever seen in an Arsenal shirt.

  34. SharkeySure says:

    Oops my manners…afternoon all

  35. Chippy says:

    Big Raddy,
    Take it your not a fan of our liverpool cousins lol
    Have to agree with you on TH very closely followed by PV DB, Jesus what a side we had 😦

    Alright Sharkey hope alls good,

  36. TH14 by a long, long way for me.

  37. he actually was the greatest player on earth for 2 or 3 seasons.

  38. Chippy says:

    Couldn’t agree more the year ronaldhino won it was farcical Henry was head and shoulders above any other player in Europe

  39. kelsey says:

    When Alan Skirton played for us on the left wing, we used to joke that he must be related to someone on the board. He once took a corner at the North Bank end and kicked the corner flag (which subsequently broke in half) and missed the ball completely 🙂

  40. chippy it was a disgrace in 01 or 02 when it went to goofy, think th14 only came 3rd, when almost all who had witnessed the previous european season were in agreement he was the best.

  41. Rasputin says:

    TH14 was the best player ever to play in the Premiership, but PV was my favourite player – the best midfield general ever to play in the Premiership.

    Vieira had everything a midfielder could ever need. Power, strength, ball retention, tackling, passing, shooting and leadership.

  42. paddys song was a real atmosphere creator aswell

    highbury late kick offs, with that viera song banging around was what football was all about.

  43. Big Raddy says:

    I loved to sing the PV song. Happy days

  44. Rasputin says:

    And don’t forget ….. to ‘That’s Amore’

    When the ball hits the net
    Like a big jumbo jet
    That’s Vieira 😛

  45. Rasputin says:

    Having said that, I thought that when we welcomed Bobby back to the Emirates, it was more emotional than when Vieira returned, but maybe that was because we never had the chance to say goodbye to Bobby.

  46. I think Vieira would add more to the team now, Theirry wasn’t as good a leader – I’ll have both please 😉

  47. Rasputin says:

    Hi peaches,

    There is a wonderful video of Chamakh on Arsenal Analysis. One thing it does highlight is that we will be wasting a huge slice of his scoring potential if we don’t have players who can deliver a cross. He attacks the ball in the air better than any player I’ve seen, but he will require service so maybe a winger should be on our shopping list?

  48. would be very sad to see either back now they are shell’s of the legendary arsenal players they once were.

  49. andy says:

    Evening all… if anyones still there that is

    Best player ever for me. Tony Adams, nobody close to him in my book. If you could add just 1 past player to our side and change it completely it would be him.

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