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WHEN in the twilight of his career Pop Robson became a strike partner at Carlisle United with a precocious young footballer destined to hit the heights with Newcastle United, Liverpool and England.

Peter Beardsley had been taken to Carlisle by Pop's old Fairs Cup pal Bob Moncur but was now operating alongside Robson under the managership of Bob Stokoe.

"He was an outstanding talent, a wonderfully gifted player,"Pop told me. "Beardsley could beat three or four players on one of his mazy runs.

"He went off to Vancouver Whitecaps and got extra polish under the guidance of another little genius Johnny Giles. From there Peter signed for Newcastle, where he always wanted to be, and teamed up with Kevin Keegan and Chris Waddle."

I always found it baffling that of all the young starlets who have passed through the halls of Wallsend Boys Club Beardsley and Steve Bruce, who eventually had such stellar careers, both had trouble getting a Football League club to take them on.

Pop recalled the day having entered soccer at its lowest league level they were on opposite sides in the same match.

"Carlisle played at Gillingham," he told me. "Beardsley was with us and Bruce was playing midfield for Gillingham. He went round humping every player he encountered. All hit the ground."

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 10, 2015
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