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Banner Hammers Logo theyflysohigh fks002m - Martin Peters Greaves October 1969  - 1 Peters Axed Hammer of the Year 1965 Extract Cardiff Match Report April 1962 England shirt PETERS Martin

Martin Peters (1943 - 2019)

by Roger Hillier

Martin Peters






Date of Birth:




Signed Apprentice:




Signed Professional:




Hammers Appearances:



























Individual Honours:




Plaistow, London




November 8, 1943




July 1958




November 1960




302       Football League

16         FA Cup

31         League Cup

15         European Cup Winners Cup




81         Football League

5           FA Cup

10         League Cup

4           European Cup Winners Cup




M.B.E. (1978)




England (33 caps)

World Cup Winner (1966)

England Under-23 (5 caps)

England Youth (12 caps)

England / Young England matches (5 caps) Football Inter-League (6 caps)




European Cup Winners Cup (1965)

Hammer of the Year (1965)

Football League Cup Runners-up (1966)

PETERS Martin small PETERS Martin 62_04_20 WHU v. Cardiff City Footballer of the month

Evening Standard 'Footballer of the Month'

August 1968

Ernie Gregory


Schoolboy trophy

England Schoolboy Internationals

ECWC shirt Martin Peters first england cap

Martin Peters First England Cap

Yugoslavia May 1966

Football League Cup

Runners-up Tankard

League Cup runners up tankard Martin Peters Hammer of the Year

West Ham United Supporters Club

Hammer of the Year 1964-65

Peters Obituary Tributes Les Bennett George Petchey

Martin Peters’ career saw him rise from Dagenham schoolboy to World Cup winner in seven years during which England manager, Sir Alf Ramsay, tagged Peters “10 years ahead of his time”.  


In a playing career with West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur, Norwich City and Sheffield United he eventually exceeded that milestone and more. For Hammers’ fans Peters was the tactically aware member of West Ham United’s England 1966 World Cup trio.


His Football League debut was made on Good Friday 1962 as right half before he progressed to playing in every position on the pitch including goalkeeper.


Described as a utility player, Martin’s all-round skills were so good that when West Ham manager Ron Greenwood needed to adapt his team, he used him in all defensive, midfield and attacking positions. It was this role as utility player that possibly contributed to him leaving Upton Park in 1970.


In 1964 Peters suffered the disappointment of being omitted from West Ham’s FA Cup winning campaign. Though this was compensated for by the following season’s European Cup Winners’ Cup triumph. And a year later a return to Wembley to help England become world champions.  


During his career he achieved:

Peters progression on the England ladder was swift, receiving the first of his 12 England Youth caps against Scotland in the 1-1 draw at Newcastle United's St. James' Park on February 12, 1960.


On the occasion of Peters' third England Youth cap against East Germany on Saturday April 2, 1960 at Fratton Park he was joined by another Hammer, Ron Boyce, who was making the first of his six youth international appearances.


Peters and Boyce also appeared together in the next five internationals against Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Poland, Austria and Switzerland. The Swiss game played at Brisbane Road on October 8, 1960.

Following the first-team's 3-0 defeat away to Everton Ron Greenwood made several changes to the side for the first of the Easter fixtures on Good Friday April 20, 1962. This included replacing Geoff Hurst at right half with Martin Peters. In a comfortable 4-1 home win over Cardiff City Peters’ performance was described as “by half-time had settled down very well”.  


The other notable feature of the Cardiff City match was Bobby Moore being made captain for the very first time.

After the playing success of the matches in West Ham's end of season tour to Africa in June 1962 Martin became an established member of the first team playing in 36 of the season’s 42 league games and scoring eight goals.

Six months after winning the last of his twelve England Youth caps against Isreal in an international friendly in Haifa, Martin gained his first England Under 23 cap.


Called into the England squad as a replacement he made his Under 23s debut in November 1962 against Belgium at Home Park, Plymouth.


Manager Walter Winterbottom asked for Bobby Moore and Ron Greenwood suggested England tried Martin.  


In a fairy tale start England won 6-1 with Martin scoring a double. A teammate that evening was future Spurs and full England colleague Alan Mullery. Three weeks later in Birmingham the young Hammer picked up his second cap in a 5-0 win over Greece.


Further Under 23 caps followed with games against Wales and West Germany in 1963, and for his fifth and final Under 23 representative honour he had a three year wait until the April 20, 1966 match versus Turkey at Ewood Park, Blackburn.

A quick glance at the League stats for 1963-64 season and you’d think Martin had another good season. Ever present for the first 24 league games and participation in three of the five League Cup games up to December 26, 1963. But the result of the 24th league game was season changing for Martin.

Early season promising form saw Peters receive further representative recognition when selected for the Football League side to face The League of Ireland in Dublin on October 3, 1963. Despite accompanied by fellow Hammers Bobby Moore and Johnny Byrne, the Irish pulled off a shock result by winning 2-1. Johnny Byrne scored the Football League’s solitary goal but a rare miss by him from the penalty spot gave the Irish a reprieve.  

The victorious 1964 FA Cup winning XI was Greenwood’s preferred side which meant Martin was sidelined for the first five Division One matches. All but for five of his 21 league games were as a replacement left back or half back in Greenwood’s re-jigging of the side to accommodate injured players.

Back in the side typically as right half or inside forward, Martin’s goal scoring contribution improved as he netted 17 league and cup goals. One of these was in March’s 1966 League Cup final against West Bromwich Albion, albeit a consolation goal in the 4-1 2nd leg defeat.  

England winning the 1966 World Cup is well documented in an earlier 'theyflysohigh' article


West Ham’s contribution to England beating West Germany to lift the Jules Rimet Trophy is appreciated by all England fans.


In the 78th minute Martin Peters scored England’s second goal to put England 2-1 up with only a few minutes remaining to the whistle.  


It looked like Peters would receive the accolades of scoring a World Cup winning goal.... until Wolfgang Weber equalised for the Germans in the last minute.  


We are all familiar with teammate Geoff Hurst’s two goals in extra-time to take the final score to 4-2. Hurst’s hat-trick performance put Martin’s goal in the shade.

Unfortunately the euphoria of England winning the 1966 World Cup with West Ham United’s trio did not influence the Hammers’ league form. A mediocre season ended with the club finishing in 16th position, four places lower than in the previous season. For Peters he wore five different shirt numbers but he still notched 16 goals in 49 league and cup games.


The First Division away 4-2 defeat to Burnley on December 10, 1966 was significant for the 23-year-old Peters as he wore the outside right’s No.7 shirt that afternoon. This was reported in a Daily Express article as Martin completing the achievement of having played in every position in a Football League game. Strictly speaking this wasn’t quite correct as he never donned the right back’s No.2 shirt for the Hammers first team. Though he had played right back in the reserves, Metropolitan League and Colts FA Youth Cup matches earlier in his career.

His international career included caps at Youth, Under 23 and Full level.


Born: Plaistow, London, November 8, 1943 Martin Stanford Peters MBE died December 21, 2019 aged 76.

Crossed Hammer

England Youth Caps

The young Peters was tall and sparely built and most of the London's clubs wanted to sign him, but his father, a Thames lighterman, pointed him firmly in the direction of Upton Park. It was a knowing choice. Peters, in later years, always talked about being "brought up" at West Ham, as if it was a good public school. In a way it was, the club gave the young players a good, broad education in the game.


Although it would take until the conclusion of the 1957-58 season for West Ham United to return to the First Division, it was soon evident that the youth policy instigated by manager Ted Fenton and rolled out under the watchful eye of Malcolm Allison was bearing fruit. Youngsters such as Bobby Moore, John Lyall, Geoff Hurst, and then Martin Peters, were just a few of the more famous names to benefit from tuition under the ever watchful gaze of Allison and his fellow professionals.

Early Life with the Hammers

Claret and Blue Debut

Martin Peters would undoubtedly have made his claret and blue debut for the Hammers under-16s side in the Forest and District League, unfortunately records of these fixtures, line-ups and results were never kept by the club. Therefore his earliest recorded entry was playing for the Colts in a South East Counties League game against Arsenal on August 22, 1959, the young Hammers losing out 4-2 at London Colney.

After impressing in England trials he was selected for his first international Schoolboy cap against Scotland at Derby County's Baseball Ground. Although he played well the Three Lions lost that day by 3 goals to 2.


In all, Peters played six times for England Schoolboys and he was particulary proud to be part of a half-back line that was given enormous credit for the 2-0 win over West Germany on a spring afternoon at Wembley Stadium in 1959

Plaque presented to Peters for Wembley Stadium Schoolboy international against West Germany

1961-62 Football League Debut

The side at Upton Park was:


Lawrie Leslie

Joe Kirkup

John Lyall

Martin Peters

Bill Lansdowne

Bobby Moore

Tony Scott

Johnny Byrne

Alan Sealey

John Dick

Ian Crawford.

Did you know?    

Two months before taking over from injured goalkeeper Brian Rhodes in the Cardiff City Division One match, Martin had done the same for the reserve team in two Football Combination matches.

On January 13th and 20th 1962 Martin picked up Brian’s gloves in the games against Crystal Palace reserves and Northampton Town reserves.    


First Team Regular & England Under 23s

International Soccer League

1967-68 season was most memorable for Peters on the international front as England reached the semi-finals of the European Championships (Euro 68) only to lose 1-0 to Yugoslavia at the Stadio Comunale in Florence, Italy. The Yugoslavs scoring the only goal in the 86th minute. A minute later Alan Mullery became the first man to be sent off for England when he kicked out at striker Dobrivoje Trivic.


In the 3rd / 4th play-off match at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, England beat the U.S.S.R. 2-0 to finish as the 3rd best European side. From an international goal scoring perspective this was Martin’s best season as he scored five goals in his nine internationals.


On the club front Martin had an impressive season as he contributed 18 goals in his 46 league and cup appearances. Though the club finished a disappointing 12th in the First Division.

A note worthy season for Peters as in his eight first team seasons 1968-69 was the only one he was ever-present and he also delivered his highest number of season’s league goals. His 19 league goals included his one and only West Ham hat-trick in the August 31, 1968 4-0 home win over West Bromwich Albion. This hat-trick contributed to a brilliant August for Martin as he netted seven league goals in seven matches to win the Evening Standard’s Footballer of the Month award.


As an aside Martin later topped this hat-trick when playing for Tottenham Hotspur in 1972. In October Spurs beat Manchester United 4-1 at Old Trafford with Martin scoring all four goals.

Martin Peters' poor form continued over the following 21 games, and this coupled with his desire to be a member of a more successful team and retain his England place for the 1970 Mexico World Cup eventually ended with his transfer to Tottenham Hotspur on deadline day March 16, 1970. After 364 league and cup matches and 100 goals Peters' claret and blue career closed.

In a fairy tale start to his north London career, Peters scored in the 13th minute of his debut game, a 2-1 defeat to Coventry City. On the same afternoon Jimmy Greaves scored a brace in his claret and blue debut, a 5-1 win over Manchester City at Maine Road.  


At a quick glance some may have thought West Ham had the better end of the transfer deal. But over the next few seasons Martin Peters continued to add to his football honours as Tottenham Hotspur won both the League Cup and the UEFA cup on two occasions. Plus, while with Spurs Martin captained his country on four occasions.


The first of these was in 1971 against Wales, followed by the 1973 match versus Austria and the infamous 1973 World Cup qualifier against Poland and finally against Portugal in a 0-0 draw at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon April 3, 1974.  His international career ended the following month with the last of his 67 England caps (20 goals) awarded for the Scotland match at Hampden Park.  

In March 1975 after six seasons with Spurs he transferred to Norwich City who were managed by a former West Ham team mate, John Bond. A further five years at Carrow Road and he made his last transfer for a season with Sheffield United. Whilst with Norwich City he was granted a testimonial match played in October 1978 against a 1966 England XI.


He made 189 (46 goals) league appearances for Spurs, 206 (44) with The Canaries  and 24 (4) with The Blades, for a career total of 724 league appearances and 175 goals.


When he joined Sheffield United it was as player-coach which led to him managing the Blades United for a short spell.

Austria v. England Youth 1959-60 Youth Team

West Ham United Colts


Standing:  Paddy O’Mahoney, Martin Peters, Frank Casey, David Bickles, Geoff Hurst (capt.), Jack Burkett

Seated:  Derek Woodley, Ron Boyce, Michael Beesley, Michael Brooks, Brian Dear

Crossed Hammer

In the following season on Wednesday January 31, 1962 Peters gained his ninth cap, this time against the Netherlands. Both the Swiss and the Dutch games ended in 4-3 victories for England.


Eight weeks later on March 31, 1962 Martin gained the 10th of his 12 England Youth Caps when he captained the side against West Germany Youth in the game at the County Ground, Northampton.  


To complete his memorable day he scored the game’s only goal. One of England’s travelling reserves was another Hammer, John Charles.

Graz International Tournament

Martin Peters (far right) lining up for England Youth against Austria

Crossed Hammer 1961-62 Team Group

West Ham United


The first of his 62 West Ham league goals was in the 6-1 win over Manchester City at Maine Road on September 8, 1962.


In May 1963 the Hammers travelled across 'The Pond' for an end of season visit to USA for the American International Soccer League. The competition was the beginning of the Hammers’ 1960s golden era.  


In a previously documented feature on the 1963 May to July tournament, Martin participated in all 10 games netting in the tournament’s opening fixture against the Scottish side, Kilmarnock.

Click the 'Picture Link' to view the article

Crossed Hammer

Did you know?    

For brief spells in seasons 1962-63 and 1966-67 Martin Peters was West Ham’s penalty taker. In Johnny Byrne’s absence Martin took over the penalty taking duties to score three out of his four attempts. In November 1962 he scored from the spot against Fulham and Sheffield Wednesday. Had he not missed a third penalty in the home game against Aston Villa on December 15, 1962 it would have been three penalties netted in five games. Then four years later on December 3, 1966 he netted West Ham’s third goal from 12 yards in the 3-0 home win over West Bromwich Albion.  

England Under 23 Caps



Football League Honour & Misses FA Cup Campaign

On the following day the same XI drew with Arsenal in the match goalkeeper Lawrie Leslie had to be replaced in goal by outfield player John Lyall, substitutes were not permitted until four season's later.


On Easter Monday Martin demonstrated his adaptability when he moved to left-back for the return visit to Cardiff City.


The Hammers may have lost 3-0 at Ninian Park but the game will be more remembered for another goalkeeping crisis. This time, Brian Rhodes had replaced the injured Lawrie Leslie in between the sticks, only to suffer injury himself and be carried-off. With no John Lyall in the side, the Hammers needed a new goalkeeper. Up steps Martin Peters for his first team goalkeeping duties.


Martin kept his place in the first team for the season’s remaining five matches and was included in the club’s end of season tour of Africa.  He played in all six of the African tour matches, replacing an absent Bobby Moore at left half for five of them.

Peters 01

Football League Representative Honour

Norwich City & Sheffield United

More Honours with Tottenham Hotspur

Transfer to Tottenham Hotspur


First Hat-Trick & Footballer of the Month


Hammer of the Year & European Glory

63_12_26 WHU v. Blackburn Rovers

A record 8-2 home defeat on Boxing Day to Blackburn Rovers made Ron Greenwood make a single but what turned out to be a significant team change. Peters was dropped to be replaced by the tougher tackling Eddie Bovington.


The impact of this team change is well known in the Hammers’ history. Bovington retained his team place at Martin’s expense for the whole of the FA Cup campaign culminating in West Ham United’s first ever FA Cup triumph.


For the remainder of the season Martin made a further eight league appearances typically filling in as the replacement for Ken Brown or Bobby Moore.    

Crossed Hammer

But the turning point came in the season’s European Cup Winners’ Cup campaign. Martin appeared in all nine of the ties, initially as left back before finding his accustomed right half spot in time for the semi-final against Real Zaragoza and the Wembley final with TSV Munchen 1860.


The May 19, 1965 Wembley game is firmly etched in the mind of every serious Hammers fan. Alan Sealey’s brace of goals ensured West Ham United’s name was engraved on the European Cup Winners’ Cup (ECWC).


For Martin some compensation for missing out on the previous year’s FA Cup victory. His contribution to the season, especially in the European campaign received its proper recognition when the West Ham United Supporters Club voted him 'Hammer of the Year'.

Rose bowl presented to Martin Peters by the Supporters Club

Martin Peters'

European Cup Winners' Cup Final shirt


Crossed Hammer


Football League Cup Runners-Up & Full England Debut


Gordon Banks, Jimmy Armfield (c), Ray Wilson,  Martin Peters, Jack Charlton, Norman Hunter, Terry Paine, Jimmy Greaves, Bobby Charlton, Geoff Hurst, Bobby Tambling  

July 1966

World Champions

Martin Peters' white shirt worn in the group stages of the World Cup

Peters goal

Martin Peters scores to put England into a 2-1 lead

Peters England


Played in All Positions

Martin Peters a man for all positions

Did you know?    

In May 1967 Martin Peters with teammates Ron Boyce, Geoff Hurst, Colin Mackleworth and Bobby Moore return to Wembley to win the Evening Standard London 5-a-Side Championships. For Martin that is a hat-trick of Wembley triumphs in consecutive years.  


England’s 3rd Place in European Championships

Crossed Hammer

Peters receives the Evening Standard award from Ernie Gregory watched over by Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst

Newspaper coverage courtesy of Richard Miller

A World Cup winner and West Ham United legend. 'theyflysohigh' would like to pass on our condolences to wife Kath,

his children Leeann and Grant, and all of Martin's family and friends.


1965 European Cup Winners’ Cup winner’s medal (West Ham United)

1966 League Cup runners-up medal (West Ham United)

1966 World Cup winner’s medal (England)

1971 & 1973 League Cup winner’s medals (Tottenham Hotspur)

1972 & 1974 UEFA Cup winner’s medals (Tottenham Hotspur)


Crossed Hammer Crossed Hammer Crossed Hammer Crossed Hammer Crossed Hammer

England International (1966 - 1974)

England USSR

Peters making his 15th full international appearance scores his 4th international goal in netting the equaliser in England’s 2-2 draw with the U.S.S.R on December 6, 1967

USSR programme Peters positions FILMSTRIP

Hat-trick against West Bromwich Albion and match ball presentation by captain Bobby Moore

Crossed Hammer


Dropped from the Side

The 1969-70 campaign was the turning point in his relationship with the Hammers. At the time it seemed unthinkable that Peters would ever leave West Ham. With only one goal in the first 13 matches, the cracks were starting to appear on his Upton Park tenure. His disappointing league form saw Ron Greenwood reshuffle his team and the 25-year-old was dropped for the home clash with Burnley on October 4, 1969.


In the days that followed the player freely admitted he was no longer prepared to keep secret the fact that he was determined to get a transfer from West Ham.


Greenwood turned down the star's transfer request and omitted him for four games. Peters was quoted as saying "I'm very disappointed and I shall continue to try and get a transfer from West Ham"


The unsettled player returned to the Hammers starting XI three weeks later on October 25 to face Sunderland at home. In story-book style the transfer-seeking player scores West Ham's opening goal in the 1-1 draw.

I must leave

Even though the deal had been hinted at for the past couple of months the timning of it was incredibly late. At 4 p.m. on deadline day Peters was summoned to meet Spurs' manager Bill Nicholson at a secret location, while at the same time Spurs legend Jimmy Greaves was in conference with West Ham boss Ron Greenwood.


The agreement was for Martin to join the north London club in part-exchange for Greaves. Peters was valued at £200,000 a then British record transfer, with Greaves at £60,000 with a £140,000 cash adjustment to the Hammers.  


As soon the Greaves part of the deal was finalised at around 7 p.m. the West Ham manager set out by road to Lytham St. Annes to make sure Jimmy's transfer was registered before the midnight deadline. He made it with 20 minutes to spare.



Martin’s last West Ham game was the home goalless draw with Ipswich Town on March 14, 1970. The team that afternoon included just one from his debut game eight years earlier, Bobby Moore.  


Team: Peter Grotier, Billy Bonds, Frank Lampard, John Cushley, Alan Stephenson, Bobby Moore, Clyde Best (Ron Boyce), Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst, Peter Eustace, Bobby Howe.

Crossed Hammer Spurs norwich Sheff trade 01 typh012 - Martin Peters - Signature book011 book108 - The Ghost of 66 coffer007

Full England Debut

Two weeks after appearing in his last England Under 23 game in April against Turkey, Sir Alf Ramsay selected Martin for the May 4, 1966 full international against Yugoslavia at Wembley Stadium.


Shortly after this 2-0 win, Ramsay announced his squad of 22 for England’s World Cup campaign. Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst and Bobby Moore made the final squad though Johnny Byrne was a late exclusion.