are very few players that have managed to balance a
career both as a first class cricketer and a footballer,
but Peter Greenwood, who has sadly passed at the grand
age of 97, was one of this rare breed. Peter made 62
Football League appearances for Chester between 1948
and 1952 but spent the summer months as a professional
with Lancashire Cricket Club.
Peter himself admitted that he always
had a better chance of making it as a cricketer than
a footballer and cricket remained his predominant sport.
Amongst the highlights of his cricket career were a
century at Old Trafford and representing Lancashire
against Australia, New Zealand and the West Indies.
Born in Todmorden, Peter’s early
football career coincided with the war years and he
represented the Navy on many occasions. When the hostilities
ended he signed professional with Burnley but never
broke through into the first team and Frank Brown brought
him to Sealand Road in summer 1948. At the same time
as his footballing career was taking off Peter was also
making a name for himself in cricketing circles and
after playing as the professional for Kendal C.C. he
Initially signed as a centre forward
Peter spent most of his career as a wing half but made
his Chester debut, in the number nine shirt against
Darlington, on his 24th birthday. Coincidentally his
final appearance was also against the Quakers, in April
1952, where he scored one of his three league goals
for the club.
Peter’s most successful season
at Sealand Road came in 1950/51 when he made 29 appearances
but the highlight came the following campaign when he
played in both FA Cup third round ties against Chelsea.
In the first match, at Stamford Bridge, Peter sensationally
found the back of the net early in the second half to
give Chester a shock 2-0 lead before the home side fought
back to earn a replay. The following Wednesday, in front
of Sealand Road’s largest ever crowd, Chester
were beaten 3-2 after extra time but Peter himself was
unlucky not to score when a close range shot passed
between goalkeeper Robertson’s legs before being
scrambled away although many people believed the ball
had crossed the line.
After leaving Chester Peter signed
for Witton Albion followed by Caernarvon and Nantlle
Vale. He then spent a year playing hockey before returning
to football at Chester Nomads, firstly as a player then
as a referee. When Peter left Chester he also quit first
class cricket, in order to concentrate on a job outside
sport, although he continued to play in the Birmingham
League followed by the Bolton League in parallel with
his career in non-league football. Outside his sporting
life Peter first worked for an engineering company in
finance followed by Chester Highways Department in Upton
and Guilden Sutton.
A true gentleman Peter was a season
ticket holder for many years and his involvement in
sport in the Chester area made him a well-respected
figure in the local community. He will be fondly remembered
by everyone who was fortunate to know him.
The club send out their condolences
to his family and friends at this difficult time.