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|Full name||Peterborough United Football Club|
|Ground||London Road Stadium|
|Owners||Darragh MacAnthony (50%)|
Kelgary Sports & Entertainment (50%)
|2019–20||League One, 7th of 23|
Peterborough United formed in 1934 and joined the Midland League, which they won six times, eventually being admitted to the Football League in 1960. Their home ground is London Road Stadium and the club nickname is The Posh. Their highest finishing position in the Football League was 10th in the Championship. Peterborough won the 2013–14 Football League Trophy.
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Peterborough United formed in 1934 at Peterborough's Angel Hotel to provide a replacement for Peterborough & Fletton United, who had folded two years previously. The Posh played in the old Midland League. They won this league on six occasions, including five seasons in a row from 1956 to 1960. The Posh were elected to The Football League for the beginning of the 1960–61 season, winning Division Four.
Following the Fourth Division Championship success in 1960–61, The Posh spent seven seasons in the 3rd Division. They reached the quarter-finals of the 1964–65 FA Cup, beating Arsenal and Swansea Town along the way before going out to Chelsea. They were relegated back to the 4th Division for financial irregularities in the summer of 1968. The club took six seasons to return to Division 3, winning the 4th Division championship.
In 1977–78 the club threatened to go one better until they narrowly missed out on promotion to Division 2 when they drew the last game of the season at champions Wrexham (0–0) when a win was needed to go up. The game was notable for the fact that over 2,000 Preston North End fans travelled to Wrexham to watch the game and cheer on the home side – Preston were the club who went up because Peterborough did not win. The Wrexham defeat cast a long shadow over the club and it fell into a long decline. Relegation followed in 1979 and Posh subsequently spent 12 years back in the 4th division. The 1980s was a long story of mismanagement and false dawns, punctuated by the odd cup run.
In January 1991, Chris Turner, who had played in the 1974 Fourth division championship team took over as manager and the team embarked on a run of 13 unbeaten games that propelled them into the top four. Six players were signed on transfer deadline day, which at the time was a record for the number of players signed by one club on a single day. On the final day of the season, Posh travelled to Chesterfield needing a win to seal promotion. Despite going two goals down in the first ten minutes, the team rallied and drew level with goals from David Robinson and George Berry. However, Posh's closest rivals, Blackpool lost at Walsall and promotion was achieved.
The following season arguably remains the most successful in the club's history. After an inconsistent start the team hit form during the Autumn when they knocked Wimbledon and Newcastle United out of the League Cup. The reward was a home tie with a Liverpool team containing Bruce Grobbelaar, Jan Mølby, Steve McManaman, Dean Saunders and Mark Wright. Garry Kimble scored the only goal after 19 minutes prompting wild celebrations and a place in the quarter-finals. In the league, the team went from strength to strength and surged up the table. Middlesbrough ended the League Cup run after a replay and there was further disappointment when the team missed out on a trip to Wembley in the Football League Trophy when they lost to Stoke City over two legs in the area final.
Progress continued in the league and a play-off place was clinched on the last day of the season despite a 1–0 defeat to champions Brentford. The following week, Huddersfield Town came to London Road for the first leg of the Semi-final. Captain Mick Halsall's last minute equaliser levelled the score at 2–2. Three days later, the supporters travelled north more in hope than expectation but they were rewarded when the team came from a goal down to win 2–1 with Worrell Sterling and Steve Cooper scoring the goals. On 24 May 1992, Peterborough United played at Wembley for the first time, against Stockport County in the Third Division playoff final. With Posh winning 2–1 and gaining promotion to the new First division. They played in Football League Division One between 1992 and 1994 and finished 10th, their highest ever league finish, in 1992–93 season.
During the 2005–06 season the club had three managers: Team owner Barry Fry returned to management following former England international Mark Wright's sacking in January 2006. Wright's assistant Steve Bleasdale was then appointed acting manager, but resigned in April. Keith Alexander joined as manager from Lincoln City for 2006–07 but was sacked in January 2007 after a run of poor form and was replaced by Darren Ferguson. He led the club to back-to-back promotions from League Two to the Championship in his two full seasons in charge. By November 2009 Posh were bottom of the Championship and Ferguson left the club, to be replaced by Mark Cooper. In February 2010, after only 13 games in charge, Cooper also left the club and Jim Gannon was appointed in his place. Following confirmation of relegation from the Championship after a 2–2 draw at Barnsley, Gannon was replaced by Gary Johnson.
Gary Johnson left the club on 10 January 2011 due to policy disagreement. Two days after Johnson's departure, Darren Ferguson returned to the club on a four and a half-year contract. Peterborough finally finished 4th in 2010-11 Football League One with one of the worst defensive records in the third tier, conceding over 70 goals, but scoring 106; the most for anybody in the Football League that season. Peterborough beat Milton Keynes Dons in the playoff semi-finals. They defeated Huddersfield Town in the Final with a 3–0 victory, and gained promotion back to the Championship.
Darren Ferguson led the team to safety in its first season back in the Championship, leading to a finish in 18th. However, the Posh were relegated back the following season, after losing to Crystal Palace 3–2 on 4 May 2013, the final match of the season.
Darren Ferguson ended his time as Peterborough United manager on 21 February 2015, following a 3–0 defeat at Milton Keynes Dons.
Historic sexual abuse prosecutions
In December 2016, as the United Kingdom football sexual abuse scandal expanded, it was revealed that alleged abuser Bob Higgins worked as a youth coach at Peterborough from May 1995 to April 1996. He was investigated as part of a 1997 Channel 4 Dispatches investigation, when he denied allegations of abuse, claiming he was a faith healer and born again Christian. On 5 July 2017, Higgins was charged with 65 counts of indecent assault. The offences were alleged to have taken place in the 1980s and 1990s and to have involved 23 alleged victims. A trial at Salisbury Crown Court started on 29 May 2018, with Higgins, 65, denying 50 counts of indecent assault between 1971 and 1996 in relation to 24 boys. On 23 July, Higgins was found guilty of one charge of indecent assault, and not guilty of another count of the same offence, while the jury failed to reach verdicts on 48 other counts of the same charge. A retrial, on 51 counts of indecent assault, started on 26 March 2019 at Bournemouth Crown Court, and on 23 May 2019, Higgins was found guilty of 45 charges of indecent assault against teenage boys, not guilty of five counts of indecent assault, with the jury unable to reach a verdict on one final count. On 12 June 2019, Higgins was sentenced to 24 years and three months in prison.
On 27 January 2017, it was reported that a second former Peterborough coach had been arrested; Michael Sean ‘Kit’ Carson, 73, academy director at Peterborough from 1993 to 2001 (overlapping with Bob Higgins for almost a year) was held in Cambridge on suspicion of indecency with children and indecent assault. On 2 March 2018 it was announced that Carson had been charged with 11 counts of indecent assault and one of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. The alleged offences all involved boys under 16, and were said to have occurred from 1978 to 2009. He appeared at Cambridge magistrates' court on 17 April, pleading not guilty to the 12 charges, then appeared at Peterborough Crown Court on 15 May 2018 when he was released on bail. Carson, 75, was killed when the car he was driving crashed into a tree near Bottisham in Cambridgeshire on 7 January 2019, the day his trial was due to start at Peterborough Crown Court; no other vehicle was involved. An inquest into his death was opened on 22 January, when it was confirmed Carson died from a traumatic brain injury. Pending further investigations, the inquest was adjourned. In September 2019, an inquest concluded Carson had taken his own life.
Peterborough United are nicknamed "The Posh", a moniker coined in 1921, after Pat Tirrell, manager of Fletton United, was reported to say he was "Looking for posh players for a posh new team". When Fletton United looked to join the Southern League in 1923 they added Peterborough to their name to form Peterborough & Fletton United, in an attempt to gain the backing of businesses in Peterborough. Peterborough & Fletton United went bankrupt in October 1932 so the current club is the third to be known as The Posh. However, the term "posh" was used as a derogatory term for the club by the press.
Peterborough & Fletton United were also commonly called "the brickies" in reference to the large brick industry in Peterborough, however the nickname was dropped when the club went bankrupt.
In 2002 Victoria Beckham filed a claim with the UK Patent Office over the club's use of the name "Posh". The former Spice Girl, who was known in the group as "Posh Spice", claimed the "nickname 'Posh' has become synonymous with her on a worldwide basis". She was unsuccessful in her suit.
Since their formation Peterborough United have played their home games at London Road Stadium. The stand behind the London Road End is terraced while the Moy's End, is a rebuilt all-seater stand, and now known as the Motorpoint Stand. A 20,000 all-seater stadium to replace London Road has been proposed. The record attendance at the stadium is 30,096, achieved on 20 February 1965 in an FA Cup fifth-round game against Swansea Town.
The ground was renamed as the ABAX Stadium in November 2014 as part of a five year sponsorship deal with Norwegian company ABAX. The first game at the renamed ground was against Bristol City, which Bristol won 3–0. In June 2019 the ground was renamed the "Weston Homes Stadium" as a ten year sponsorship deal, the largest in the club's history, between the football club and the British property developer company.
According to the Football Fans Census, Cambridge United were considered to be the club's main rival. The Cambridge rivalry has been fought very evenly over the years; Peterborough winning 16 and Cambridge 15, with Peterborough netting 53 times and Cambridge 52 in the 38 competitive matches they have played each other. However, the two sides did not meet each other between 2001 and 2017 when they faced each other in the Checkatrade Trophy, a game which Peterborough won 2–0.
More recently, Posh fans have begun to view the MK Dons as rivals, partly due to the geographic location, but also due to battling with the MK Dons for promotion from League Two and League One in Darren Ferguson's first two full seasons.
Ever since 1992 there has also been animosity between Peterborough United and Huddersfield Town, with Chris Turner's Peterborough progressing to the final and later on winning the playoffs in the 1991-92 Football League Third Division, they progressed past Huddersfield winning 4-3 on aggregate in the playoff semi finals. This rivalry further grew in 2011 with Posh winning against Huddersfield in the 2010–11 League One Playoff Final 3–0, and in the 2012–13 Championship season Huddersfield relegated Posh from the championship on the last day of the season with them drawing 2–2 with Barnsley, and with Peterborough losing 3–2 against Crystal Palace, Huddersfield's draw with Barnsley caused the latter to leapfrog Peterborough and send them down to League One. Peterborough also have a small rivalry with Barnsley for a similar reason. Yet these rivalries aren't due to be played again in the 2019–20 season with Huddersfield and Barnsley currently in the Championship and Peterborough currently in League One.
Many fans consider Peterborough to be a part of the Pride of Anglia derby, contested between the professional clubs based in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and sometimes Essex. Matches against these teams often draw large crowds with Posh's highest home attendance of the 2019-20 season coming against Ipswich Town with 10,071 fans. For the return fixture, Peterborough sold out their initial 1,900 ticket allocation.
- As of 8 September 2020
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.