Any player who played with Beardsley has nothing but admiration for him. He was a player who not only performed brilliantly individually but made other players around him better. Andy Cole attributes much of his success when at Newcastle to Beardsley’s vision and creativity.
Excellent when striking the ball with either foot, Beardsley was able to pass the ball beautifully. For all of Beardsley’s assists for Cole, it’s a sumptuous cross he delivered for Ferdinand to powerfully header home against Aston Villa that sticks in my mind for underlining Peter’s ability to ‘stick it on a sixpence’.
Perhaps Beardsley is best known though for his dribbling ability and in particular that trick he did when he used to cock one leg back before quickly shimmying the ball between feet. Defenders were powerless to stop him, even though they had seen him perform the manoeuvre so often before, they were bamboozled by the speed. One great example of this amazing foot speed was when Pedro scored against Bolton, entering the area, Beardsley quickly tapped the ball from instep to instep so rapidly it sent two or three defenders into psychological despair, one of them stumbling to the floor as if they had just been caught with a classic combination by the late Muhammed Ali. It was truly magnificent stuff from Beardsley.
His character was excellent too. Less ‘in your face’ as others, Keegan still referred to Beardsley as a general leading from the front. He was a good captain because the other players had respect for his ability. Beardsley was also very respectful to his fellow professionals and enjoyed helping and supporting the younger members of the squad. He also considers Newcastle to be his club and has tremendous adoration for it. Yep I’ve got no problem sticking Beardsley in my top 5.