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Peter Brabrook

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Peter Brabrook

Birth
Greenwich, Royal Borough of Greenwich, Greater London, England
Death
10 Dec 2016 (aged 79)
Basildon District, Essex, England
Burial
Corbets Tey, London Borough of Havering, Greater London, England Add to Map
Plot
T/ 14069
Memorial ID
View Source
Peter learned his football in east London and was an outstanding schoolboy prospect, yet his local club West Ham did not recruit him back then and Chelsea nipped in. He had been spotted by Jimmy Thompson, the legendary scout who also brought Jimmy Greaves, Terry Venables and Barry Bridges across town to Stamford Bridge.

As a 15-year-old he joined Chelsea as an apprentice in 1953 and in a whirlwind few months in 1954/55 he was capped by England Youth, he became a professional at Chelsea and he made his first team debut.

The 17-year-old was fast, dynamic and direct. It was his 12th-minute centre, after brilliant wing play, from which Chelsea took the lead in a game Ted Drake’s men won 2-1.

This was late March 1955 and every single point mattered as the Blues battled for what would be the first title in our history. Peter was entirely unfazed by the pressure. He played twice more that season, including in a win at Tottenham, and acquitted himself superbly in the run-in while usual no.10 Seamus O’Connell was unavailable, and Chelsea became champions.

He was one of the first from the Chelsea Juniors system started by previous manager Billy Birrell to become a first team fixture. He scored his first goal in his first appearance the following season, away at Blackpool, and when he was switched from an inside-forward to a right winger in place of injured Eric Parsons, he truly became established.

There, away from the frenzy in the centre of the park, he could use his pace better and he also provided intelligence and intricate footwork as well as direct running towards goal. At the start of the 1957/58 campaign he was teamed up with protégé Greaves, beginning a fruitful association in which Peter provided many of the balls turned into goals with unprecedented regularity by his young colleague.

The following summer he was capped by England aged 20, becoming the first Chelsea youth product to play for his nation, a feat of which he was immensely proud. He played three times for England including in the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden.

At Chelsea he continued as a main player in the side, scoring consistently at a rate of a goal every four or five games, including two back-post headers in a big 1960 win against Arsenal during a healthy period for the Blues at Highbury. In 1961/62 he was top appearance maker.

Tommy Docherty wanted change and this time West Ham did not miss out on Peter, paying £35,000, at the time a record for a winger, to beat Everton to his signature. With the East London club he won the FA Cup and played over 200 times before making the short move to Orient. Chelsea fans regularly lamented his departure.

In the mid-1990s he returned to West Ham to take up a role in their academy where he played an important part in developing future Chelsea stars Frank Lampard and Joe Cole.

In later years, he was a scout for the Hammers but he was a regular attendee at Chelsea functions including the Annual Lunch, and it was with us where it all began and he played the most.

He made 271 Chelsea appearances and scored 57 goals.
Peter learned his football in east London and was an outstanding schoolboy prospect, yet his local club West Ham did not recruit him back then and Chelsea nipped in. He had been spotted by Jimmy Thompson, the legendary scout who also brought Jimmy Greaves, Terry Venables and Barry Bridges across town to Stamford Bridge.

As a 15-year-old he joined Chelsea as an apprentice in 1953 and in a whirlwind few months in 1954/55 he was capped by England Youth, he became a professional at Chelsea and he made his first team debut.

The 17-year-old was fast, dynamic and direct. It was his 12th-minute centre, after brilliant wing play, from which Chelsea took the lead in a game Ted Drake’s men won 2-1.

This was late March 1955 and every single point mattered as the Blues battled for what would be the first title in our history. Peter was entirely unfazed by the pressure. He played twice more that season, including in a win at Tottenham, and acquitted himself superbly in the run-in while usual no.10 Seamus O’Connell was unavailable, and Chelsea became champions.

He was one of the first from the Chelsea Juniors system started by previous manager Billy Birrell to become a first team fixture. He scored his first goal in his first appearance the following season, away at Blackpool, and when he was switched from an inside-forward to a right winger in place of injured Eric Parsons, he truly became established.

There, away from the frenzy in the centre of the park, he could use his pace better and he also provided intelligence and intricate footwork as well as direct running towards goal. At the start of the 1957/58 campaign he was teamed up with protégé Greaves, beginning a fruitful association in which Peter provided many of the balls turned into goals with unprecedented regularity by his young colleague.

The following summer he was capped by England aged 20, becoming the first Chelsea youth product to play for his nation, a feat of which he was immensely proud. He played three times for England including in the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden.

At Chelsea he continued as a main player in the side, scoring consistently at a rate of a goal every four or five games, including two back-post headers in a big 1960 win against Arsenal during a healthy period for the Blues at Highbury. In 1961/62 he was top appearance maker.

Tommy Docherty wanted change and this time West Ham did not miss out on Peter, paying £35,000, at the time a record for a winger, to beat Everton to his signature. With the East London club he won the FA Cup and played over 200 times before making the short move to Orient. Chelsea fans regularly lamented his departure.

In the mid-1990s he returned to West Ham to take up a role in their academy where he played an important part in developing future Chelsea stars Frank Lampard and Joe Cole.

In later years, he was a scout for the Hammers but he was a regular attendee at Chelsea functions including the Annual Lunch, and it was with us where it all began and he played the most.

He made 271 Chelsea appearances and scored 57 goals.

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