WHERE ARE THEY NOW – GREAT PLAYERS WHO HAVE SEEMINGLY FADED AWAY. by Ken1945
PETER EDWIN STOREY:
Born 7th September 1945.
Position: Defensive Right Sided Midfielder.
Peter played for The Arsenal from 1961 – 1977.
Like Peter Simpson, Peter Storey was one of the dominant players who helped win our first ever European trophy when we won the Europeans Fairs Cup and followed that up with the magnificent 1970/71 double winning campaign.
Interestingly, I found out that Bertie Mee, our manager at the time, actually wanted Eddie Kelly to start in front of Peter in the cup final, but that didn’t happen.
That seems an incredible story, considering that it was Peter’s two goals in the semi-final against Stoke that ensured a replay and what a night that was.
It was the injury time penalty against, of all people, the England keeper Gordon Banks. He sent him the wrong way and the double was still on!!!
Peter joined the club as an apprentice in 1961 and, after being viewed as a right back, waited four years for his first team appearance in October 1965 and remained as a regular fixture for the next decade.
It was under Bertie and Don Howe that he switched to the midfield and it was from here that he gained his “hardman” reputation – so much so, that Johnny Giles (of Leeds fame and no shrinking violet himself) described him as the hardest player he had ever come up against.
With Simpson on the left and Storey on the right, Frank McLintock in the middle, this was one of the most combative midfields I have ever seen at The Arsenal… second only to The Invincibles in my opinion.
With Peter Storey, there was no need or wish to stay in the background (unlike Simpson) and he was always vocal and had bust ups with anyone he thought needed it, including his captain and the referees.
Peter was recognised by England and won 19 full caps and made 501 appearances for The Arsenal, before leaving for Fulham in 1977 and retiring the next season.
It was his activities outside of football that attracted at least as much attention as his playing days, however.
His autobiography titled “True Storey” has a subtitle that says, “My life and crimes as a football hatchet man”.
He was landlord of a notorious London pub, The Jolly Farmers” and brushed shoulders with the villains who were regulars at this drinking place.
He was one of the regular players who made up the drinking culture described in the Peter Marinello article and he carried on with this at the pub.
He also became a minicab driver in Islington and then as a chauffeur for no less than Hamad bin Khalifs Al Thani in Istanbul in 1995.
He was arrested for smuggling pornography, keeping a brothel and for financing a plot to counterfeit gold coins, amongst various criminal offences after his football career.
He sold nearly all of his football memorabilia and medals for £20,000 and retired and still lives with his wife somewhere in France.
Peter says about his less savoury time as follows and I quote: “I was never a criminal mastermind, but rather a foolish former footballer with more money than sense…it sounds so big time, so glamorous, doesn’t it? All I did was lend some money to blokes I thought were going to make a few quid by knocking out cheap imitation jewellery.”
His autobiography “True Storey” is a must for any Gooner to read and I recommend it to one and all.
What a colourful life he had, a terrific and uncompromising footballer at The Arsenal and another player who, I believe, would also walk into today’s team….if the refs turned a blind eye to some of his tackles, language (you could hear it from the stands!!!) and arguments.
Thanks for sharing your life in that autobiography Peter, you tell it all and one can’t but help admiring you for everything you did!!!
Next for me is Jonathon Charles Sammels, yet another 1945 legend!!!