In his 23 years as a footballer Peter Beagrie (above) has unfailingly delighted supporters of the seven clubs he has played for. At Stoke City, for heaven’s sake, he even edged Stanley Matthews into second place in a popularity contest. So Beagrie is certain to receive a nostalgically warm welcome from the “Blue Moon” brigade when he runs out for Scunthorpe United against Manchester City in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
Acknowledging that as a 40-year-old still playing professional football he is “a bit of a freak”, Beagrie ponders: “Obviously there must be something in my genes. Though people have made a massive deal of it, 40 to me is just a number. I don’t feel any different from what I did at 35, and that’s because my attitude to football and my love of it has always been the same, deeply passionate, and it will continue to be until I get out of bed one morning and ask myself why I am punishing my body to such a degree.
For now, though, Beagrie remains spry enough to be able to execute his trademark celebration somersault when he scores, although he has become selective in uncorking it. “I have had cause to do it just once this season, in the 4-1 win at Huddersfield. Unfortunately for me, my 750th appearance and my 100th goal coincided at Barnsley, and since we were losing 4-0 at the time there was no cause for a celebration.”