There 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 joined Lancashire.
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.