Peter Ward

Peter Ward Brighton & Hove Albion
Peter Ward

Peter Ward was an apprentice engine fitter at the Rolls-Royce plant in Derby. While there he played for non-league side Burton Albion making 50 appearances and scoring 21 goals.

He was transferred to Brighton & Hove Albion in 1975 for a fee of £4000, The move also saw Burton manager Ken Gutteridge move to the Albion as Assistant Manager. Initially, Peter played in the Brighton Reserves. His first game with the first team came on 27 March 1976 against Hereford United. He scored in the first minute in a game that ended 1–1.

During the 1976–77 season, he scored 36 goals, beating the club record and winning him the golden boot. He is still revered by Brighton fans who sing a song dreaming of a team in which every player is Peter Ward: ‘We all live in a Wardy Wonderland.’ After finishing second in Division Two in 1978–79, Brighton were promoted to the Football League First Division, Peter put in a transfer request; however, differences were resolved and he still wore the Brighton shirt for the first game in the top flight which saw Brighton lose 4–0 to Arsenal. In November of that year Brighton accepted a £400,000 offer from Nottingham Forest, but Forest manager Brian Clough changed his mind and withdrew it.

Peter finally did move to Nottingham Forest in October 1980 in a three-way deal which saw Gary Birtles leave Forest for Manchester United and Andy Ritchie move south from United to Brighton. He made 28 league appearances for Nottingham Forest and scored seven goals, but things did not work out.

Peter was sent on loan to American side Seattle Saunders where he scored 18 goals in the 1981–82 season putting him third in the list of top NASL goalscorers that season. In the 1980 Intercontinental Cup, Peter was the first ever football player to wear a kit with their name on the back of the shirt. The shirt is now on display at the National Football Museum.

Peter returned to Brighton on loan in October 1982. The loan lasted four months, during which time he scored three goals, including the only goal in a 1–0 victory over Manchester United. Nottingham Forest refused to extend the loan deal further.

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