Friday, March 2, 2012

Focus On : Peter Shilton Born To Save

Peter Shilton could have appeared in the Great Players list for at least half a dozen clubs, such is the longevity of his career and the precocious nature of his early career at Leicester City. Even as a teenager Peter was insisting that he shouldn't be playing second fiddle to the great Gordon Banks. His positional sense and penalty-box awareness served Filbert Street well after Banks had gone to Stoke City.  Later, Peter followed Gordon to the Potteries, but by 1977 still hadn't been rewarded with any major honours. 
Brian Clough persuaded Shilton that this would all change at the City Ground, and that prediction proved to be amazingly accurate. Clough believed Shilton was worth at least 18 points a season and indeed it was Peter who would ensure at least a draw in many matches during that set of incredible unbeaten runs.  His reliability and confidence inspired Larry Lloyd and Kenny Burns to provide the bedrock of success in those fantastic Forest years. Certainly, his attacking colleagues still give credit for his input. Shilton eventually moved on to Southampton, Derby and many other clubs. He broke endless records, made over 1,000 league appearances, won 125 international caps and played on well into his 40s. Since retiring, spells of management at Plymouth and coaching at Torquay and other clubs haven't satisfied Peter's ambitious needs, but with a will as strong as his, who's to say that we've heard the last of this giant.

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