Written by dandan
Peter was an original, an Arsenal man through and through, a man without any visible fear and who would, as they say, run through brick walls for the club he served with such distinction. He joined the ground staff at 15, signed as an apprentice at 16 and was a gooner for 14 years.
Far and away the best defender never to play for England despite being called up several times to Ramsey’s squads. He played in every outfield position for the club before establishing himself at centre half alongside Frank McLintock. They, together with Peter Storey, Pat Rice and Bob Macnab had many an epic battle with the hard men of Liverpool and Leeds. From whom they took the cup at Wembley and the title at White Hart Line in that never to be forgotten week in 1971.
His first start for the first team wasn’t too auspicious and is remembered as being the last time an opposition player scored all four of his teams goals at Highbury, worse still Peter was marking him. The team, Chelsea, the player, Bobby Tambling we lost 4-2.
A quiet man renowned for enjoying a fag at half time, he never the less, was immense for Arsenal. The possessor of a crunching tackle, the abiding memory of Simpson was to see him sliding through the Highbury mud causing many an opposition star to jump in the air and forget the ball that Peter would collect on the way through. Then again when all seemed lost, and a striker was about to pull the trigger, out would go the elastic leg of the man they called Stan to effortlessly remove the ball and the danger. Before starting the next attack with a telling pass.
Arsène would give his right arm to have him, as a defensive midfielder today. Patrick Vieira at his very best would recognise him as a kindred spirit, he was that good.
Besides the 71 double, he won the Fairs Cup and played in the two infamous league cup defeats. He made 370 appearances and scored ten goals for Arsenal before moving on to play in America. No doubt many an older supporter will smile at the memory of that tall angular frame with its instantly recognisable gait, side by side with his Scottish mate, loving the battles as week in week out the leagues hard men bounced off them.