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Bertie Peacock

The "Little Ant" - Bertie Peacock captained Celtic to Scottish Cup success in the fifties, and was a key member of Northern Ireland's 1958 World Cup successes...

Name: Robert Peacock
Born: 29 September 1928, Coleraine
Height: 5.06 ft
Weight: 11.00 st
Died: 22 July 2004
Position: Left-Half/Inside-Forward

Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 31 Full Caps/2 Goals (1951-1961); Irish League: 3 Caps (1962-1963); Great Britain (vs Rest of Europe, 1955).
Club Honours: (with Glentoran) Irish Cup Runner-Up 1948/49; (with Celtic) Scottish League Champion 1953/54; Scottish Cup Winner 1950/51, 1953/54; Scottish League Cup Winner 1956/57, 1957/58; Coronation Cup Winner 1953; Glasgow Cup Winner 1955/56(with Coleraine) Irish Cup Winner 1964/65; Ulster Cup Winner; City Cup Winner 1968/69; North-West Senior Cup Winner; Blaxnit North-South Cup Winner 1969; Top-Four Cup Winner 1968/69.

Club Career:
FA Cup
FL Cup
Killowen School
Coleraine YMCA
*13/ 4
0/ 0
Hamilton Steelers
(Eastern Canada Professional Soccer League)
* all games. # all domestic games in both spells.

To follow.

Below are photos and an extract of an article on Bertie Peacock and his family, kindly supplied by Ronnie Gamble, a local historian and former neighbour of Bertie's.
The Peacock Family 
The Peacock family originally came from Ballyrashane before moving to the parish of Kildollagh. Their addresses at Kildollagh were 1 Dam Head, Knockintern and then Drumaduan.
Bertie's mother, Sarah and sister, 
Jennie  (courtesy of Anne Gault)
John (b.1869) and Marie (b.1871) were married in 1887 and they had Catherine (b.1888), Hugh (b.1886), William (b.1884), Frank (b.1882), Robert J. (b.1898), James (b.1900) and Moore (b.1907). Hugh married Sarah Holmes, who lived at 4 Laurel Hill with her parents, Willie John and Nancy along with her brothers, James (linen lapper), William John (power loom overseer) and Robert (bricklayer). 
Hugh and Sarah Peacock had six children, two boys and five girls. The eldest son was called Frank, a traditional name in the Peacock family for many generations, and then, Robert (Bertie), a plumber by trade who fitted the gas in the McSheffrey house next door. That way Martha Gamble had a gas mantle light and a gas cooker beside the open fire. There was only a candle to light up the attic bedroom and he also fitted a gas mantle above the parent’s bed (Martha needed a proper light in the attic so that she could change the writer’s nappy). That was in the year 1948 when Bertie was playing for Glentoran Football Club. Jennie Peacock married Alex Foulton, and resided on Drumard Drive where it meets Kyle’s Brae.
Bertie with his sister Sadie 
and future wife, Ruby McIntyre
(courtesy of Kenny Walls)

Bertie’s sisters were Marjorie, who died at a young age, Jennie (Jean), Sadie, Nan and Mary. Sadie Peacock married Jim Walls, a son of Martha Walls who owned the grocer’s shop on Pate’s Lane. They had a son called Errol, who looked remarkably like his uncle Bertie. Nan married George Mitchell, who lived on Killowen Street, opposite Pate’s Lane and Mary married and went to live in Londonderry. The Peacock family is further connected to the Walls family in that Sadie Anderson married Herbie Walls, another son of Martha Walls. 
Bertie worked as a plumber to Christie’s in The Diamond. His mother Sarah had worked in Gribbon’s Mill as a weft winder and by 1947 she worked in Coleraine Academical Institution. Martha Gamble always had the key to the Peacock house so that she could heat up Bertie’s dinner, usually mince and potatoes. 
Robert “Bertie” Peacock, MBE the football player and manager started his adult football career with his local team, Coleraine Football Club. He then moved on to the Belfast club Glentoran in 1947. After playing for Glentoran for two years he was signed up by the Glasgow Celtic Football Club in 1949. He went on to become the team captain from 1957 until 1961. During his time at the club he won one league title, two Scottish Cups and two Scottish League Cups and most important of all, he married Ruby McIntyre from Kyle’s Brae and they went on to have ten wonderful years at Glasgow. 
Mr Allen (headmaster), Rev Alwyn Maconachie and Mrs Ruby Peacock watch on 
as Bertie Peacock presents football strips to the boys of Killowen Primary School 
Autographed picture to Davy Pringle 
(courtesy of Eleanor Richardson) 
Bertie also won thirty-one caps for Northern Ireland and in 1958 he was teamed up with Harry Gregg, Danny Blanchflower and Billy Bingham in Sweden to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
Bertie was appointed the player-manager of his home team Coleraine F.C. in 1961 and then in 1962 he became the Northern Ireland manager. He was responsible for giving George Best and Pat Jennings their international debuts when Northern Ireland played against Wales in 1964. Bertie was the manager of Coleraine F.C. when they won the Irish Cup Final in 1965 and the Irish League title in 1974. 
Bertie was also assistant manager for Billy Bingham during Northern Ireland’s 1982 World Cup campaign. That year they defeated the Spanish hosts in Valencia. Alongside Jim Weir and Victor Leonard, in 1983 Bertie was one of the co-founders of the NI Milk Cup International youth football tournament. This tournament started in Coleraine with only sixteen teams and has gained popularity and recognition around the world ever since.
Peacock outside Bertie's Bar in the Long Commons, Coleraine
(courtesy of Coleraine Chronicle)
Bertie was awarded the MBE for his services to football in 1986.  When he retired from football, he ran a very popular pub and delicatessen in the Long Commons Coleraine known as ‘Bertie’s Bar’. Despite spending the years 1957-1961 as the team captain of Glasgow Celtic, Bertie's later became host to the rival Glasgow Rangers Supporters Club. 
Bertie died on 22 July 2004, at the age of 76. Two years later a memorial statue to him was commissioned and was unveiled in July 2007 by Pat Jennings, at the opening of the 25th Milk Cup. It stands in the Diamond, Coleraine. The Northern Bank is in the background and next to it is the former site of Christie’s, the firm that first employed Bertie as a plumber. Martha McSheffrey was blind by then and regretted not being able to see the statue.
The Bertie Peacock Statue in The Diamond, Coleraine
The West Bann Enterprise and Community Centre (2011) is located just off the lower end of Killowen Street, and is a community centre for the people of Killowen. It is known as the Bertie Peacock Building. 
The Bertie Peacock Building, Killowen Court, Coleraine
Managerial Career

Northern Ireland Cap Details:
06-10-1951 Scotland...... H L 0-3 BC
11-11-1952 France........ A L 1-3 FR
21-03-1954 Wales......... A W 2-1 WCQ/BC
02-10-1954 England....... H L 0-2 BC
03-11-1954 Scotland...... A D 2-2 BC
08-10-1955 Scotland...... H W 2-1 BC
02-11-1955 England....... A L 0-3 BC
10-04-1957 Wales......... H D 0-0 BC
25-04-1957 Italy......... A L 0-1 WCQ
01-05-1957 Portugal...... H W 3-0 WCQ
05-10-1957 Scotland...... H D 1-1 BC
06-11-1957 England....... A W 3-2 BC
04-12-1957 Italy......... H D 2-2 FR
15-01-1958 Italy......... H W 2-1 WCQ
16-04-1958 Wales......... A D 1-1 BC
08-06-1958 Czechoslovakia N W 1-0 WCF
11-06-1958 Argentina..... N L 1-3 WCF
15-06-1958 West Germany.. N D 2-2 WCF
17-06-1958 Czechoslovakia N W 2-1 WCF
04-10-1958 England....... H D 3-3 BC 1 Goal
05-11-1958 Scotland...... A D 2-2 BC
22-04-1959 Wales......... H W 4-1 BC 1 Goal
03-10-1959 Scotland...... H L 0-4 BC
18-11-1959 England....... A L 1-2 BC
08-10-1960 England....... H L 2-5 BC
26-10-1960 West Germany.. H L 3-4 WCQ
09-11-1960 Scotland...... A L 2-5 BC
25-04-1961 Italy......... A L 2-3 FR
03-05-1961 Greece........ A L 1-2 WCQ
10-05-1961 West Germany.. A L 1-2 WCQ
07-10-1961 Scotland...... H L 1-6 BC
Summary: 31/2. Won 8, Drew 8, Lost 15

𝗕𝗲𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗲 𝗣𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗼𝗰𝗸 Bertie Peacock was born on 19 September 1928 in Coleraine and began his football career with Coleraine...

Posted by Irish Football Memories on Tuesday, 8 December 2020


Anonymous said…
Bertie Beacock

jcd said…

That's been wrong for 5 years!
GarryC said…
Bertie was a true gentleman and a superb role model.
Religion and Politics never came into it, Football was everything and all were treated equally. He took time to talk to all and his devotion drove all around him to achieve much more. He certainly can be remembered extremely fondly in Coleraine and his record at the Football Club is still unsurpassed.
Garry C