Where are they now? Arsenal’s notorious hardman Peter 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!!!

ken 1945

Thanks to www.arsenal.com, Wikipedia and “True Storey” for some of the quotes and contents.

Next for me is Jonathon Charles Sammels, yet another 1945 legend!!!



  1. jon fox says:

    AH! 1945, What a year! End of the war, new social beginnings and attitudes. And the birth of our beloved Ken, plus Peter hardman Storey and also Jon Sammels, Ken next subject, who was the butt of our own fans booing, mostly very unfairly too. Another great article Ken and please keep them coming!

  2. Grandad says:

    We could do with his type of player in the current team.Despite his England caps I always Peter Simpson was the better player? What do you think Ken?

    1. jon fox says:

      YES Grandad, Simpson , all day long. No real comparison either, even though Storey was a most effective player too . Simpson in todays team would be a real star player and in the England team for sure.

    2. ken1945 says:

      Peter Simpson was the complete footballer for me, Grandad.

      He went about his craft in such a calm, methodical and, seemingly, easy manner.

      Peter Storey was like a whirlwind in his approach to the way he performed on the pitch in comparison, but I know he put the wind up opponents (as confirmed by Giles).

      I suppose one could say a Rolls Royce versus a Ferrari !!!

      Along with George Armstrong, Simpson must have been the unluckiest player never to have been honoured by his country and all three would walk into our current side…in my opinion.

      1. jon fox says:

        Wrong KEN , they would not WALK into todays team. They would be carried shoulder high by fans like Emperors are and the rest of the team would be told to fit around them. They would all be stars today! But unlike so many of todays non star players and even star players, THEY would not act like stars, nor see themselves as stars.

  3. stevo says:

    Another good walk down memory lane Ken 🙂
    I wonder if in the year 2060 some will be writing stories about any of the present team?
    The 1998-2004 era may be. Not so sure about this last decade though.

  4. Loose Cannon says:

    The past glory of our former players will never fade.
    Such a shame that from lions on the field, we now have this crop of players to watch!Raul’s team is one of the worst that ever walked out of an AFC tunnel! Even during the barren years, we got spanked many times, but did play some good football and the customary 4th place. If the board did support Unai in player discipline, maybe he could have turned things around with discipline. 3 time winner with Seville, not an easy task. We need to get discipline and work ethics back if ever we want to challenge for anything, even the League Cup included. I wish we had more men like Peter today. Thanks Ken and keep writing.Would like to know more of our former players.

    1. Russell Morgan says:

      Another great article ken,must get the book about Peter soon!

  5. Declan says:

    The semi final against Stoke, what a game, another I was at with my dad. Just watched it again on YouTube, take a look everyone, how the game used to be played. Nice interview with Peter Storey at the end too.

    1. ken1945 says:

      I’ve always wondered if the two semi-final games were the start of the animosity … at least from their fans anyway?

      We certainly milked the last second penalty goal didn’t we?

      Of course, the Stoke team back then, weren’t trying to kick us off the park – as physical as us, but nothing more than that.

  6. snowden says:

    What ever the difference in personality of the players they had the one common determination to win.

    You sensed it the moment they came on to the pitch.

    Perhaps the players around PS were not so ‘aggressive’ but they were equal to him in his determination.

    I think it was that determination that ran through the team plus the planning and work of Don Howe that gave us the hope that the good times’ were just around the corner.

    Unfortunately it proved to be a long corner.

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