PETER NOBLE 

Date and Place of Birth

19th August 1944 - Sunderland

 

Transfers to and from Burnley

from Swindon Town - June 1973 (£35,000)

to Blackpool - January 1980 (£25,000)

 

First and Last Burnley Games

Sheffield United (h) - 25th August 1973

sub: replaced Mick Docherty

 

Orient (h) - 3rd November 1979

 

Other Clubs

Newcastle United, Swindon Town

----------------------------------------

Blackpool

 

 

Burnley Career Stats

 

Season League FA Cup League Cup Others Total
                     
  apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls
1973/74 40(1) - 5 - 3 - 6 5 54(1) 5
1974/75 42 12 1 - 3 2 - - 46 14
1975/76 25(1) 13 - - 4 4 - - 29(1) 17
1976/77 42 13 3 1 1 - 3 1 49 15
1977/78 40 8 2 - 4 1 3 - 49 9
1978/79 41 14 4 - 3 1 9 1 57 16
1979/80 11 3 - - 1 - 3 1 15 4
                     
Total 241(2) 63 15 1 19 8 24 8 299(2) 80

 

Profile by Tony Scholes

 

When a club wins promotion to the Premier League there is no doubt that the first thing they have to do is strengthen the squad ahead of the new challenge.

Back in 1973, having won the Second Division, Burnley returned to the top flight but ahead of the new season manager Jimmy Adamson made only one signing and that was Peter Noble, a centre-forward from a Swindon Town side who had finished in a lowly position in our league in the previous season.

He'd played against us as we went on to lift the title but it wasn't the first time our paths had crossed, and the Swindon player had twice scored important goals against us that ended our Wembley hopes in the 1968/69 season.

We met Swindon in the semi-final of the League Cup. Noble scored the winner for the visitors in the Turf Moor leg (they won 2-1) and the tie went to a replay at West Brom after the Clarets were 2-1 winners at Swindon.

In a dramatic semi-final we came from behind to lead 2-1 in extra time, but with the scores level at 2-2 it was Noble who scored the late winner to take his side to Wembley where they beat Arsenal on a waterlogged pitch to lift the trophy.

The Sunderland born Noble wasn't picked up as a youngster by any league club and he played local football before signing for Consett who played in the Northern League and he worked as a painter and decorator.

It looked as though his chance was gone but in late 1964, at the age of 20, he was given an offer to sign for Newcastle United and despite being a committed Sunderland supporter he grabbed the opportunity.

Initially he was a reserve team player as the Geordies reclaimed their First Division place but he finally made his debut for them at Chelsea early in the 1965/66 season. It didn't bring about a regular place immediately and he didn't start another game until March of the same season. That was at Burnley on a day when a Willie Morgan goal gave us a 1-0 win.

He did establish himself in the first team but after scoring seven goals in 25 games for Newcastle he was sold in January 1968 to Swindon Town for just £10,000 and he was an immediate hit with the Wiltshire club.

Just over a year later came that League Cup Final win against Arsenal and in the following season they did what Burnley had done three years earlier and beat Napoli, Swindon's coming in Italy in the final of the Anglo Italian Cup. They won that 3-0, with Noble scoring twice, although the game was abandoned because of crowd problems.

He did occasionally play in midfield but he was considered to be a forward and scored no less than 63 league goals for Swindon in just over five years and at the age of 28 was Adamson's only signing for the new challenge that faced Burnley, and he cost us £35,000.

On the opening day of the 1973/74 season, at Sheffield United, Adamson stuck with the team that had won the promotion with Noble taking the one substitute place. We won 2-0 but late in the game Mick Docherty suffered a cruciate ligament injury and Noble slotted in for the remainder of the game at right-back.

Three days later, in our first home game against Chelsea, Adamson amazingly left him in that right-back position. He must have done well because that's where he remained for the rest of the season.

And a good season it was, falling just short of a European place and reaching the semi-final of the FA Cup. We also made it to the final of the Texaco Cup but lost, as we'd done in the FA Cup, to Newcastle. Noble's only goals that season came in the Texaco Cup run.

The next season started with him in the same position, but that was to change very quickly with the sale of Martin Dobson to Everton. Ian Brennan came in at left-back for the next game. Keith Newton moved onto the right and Noble was given Dobbo's midfield berth.

Noble had impressed the Burnley fans in his first year with his performances in the number 2 shirt, but once moved further forward he soon became one of the top players in the Burnley side and without doubt one of the most popular with the fans.

Coupled with his performances came goals too. He reached double figures in four of the next five seasons and also took the penalty taking role from Leighton James with some success. The only time he ever missed one the referee ordered a re-take and he made no mistake second time.

He got a hat-trick against his first club Newcastle in November 1974 and in the following season scored hat-tricks in successive home games with the second of them remaining memorable to this day. He scored three in a 4-1 win against Middlesbrough and followed that up by netting all four in a remarkable 4-4 draw against Norwich.

That 1975/76 season proved to be our last in the top flight for 33 years, and Noble missed a number of games that season with a groin injury sustained while taking a penalty at Leicester. Having put the spot kick into the net he was immediately substituted.

Newton was handed the captaincy after the relegation but half way through that first season in the Second Division there was a change and Noble became club captain. He continued to turn in top performances and the goals kept coming but this was very much the start of our decline and there was to be no second promotion in the decade.

One Noble performance from the 1977/78 season stands out. It came on the second day of the New Year when we travelled to Bolton. They were top of the league and we were comfortably in bottom place. We had an injury crisis and that meant Noble playing in the centre of defence.

He was brilliant, as were the whole team on a night at Burnden Park when we upset the odds and the league table by winning 2-1 with two goals from Brennan. Noble joked after the game that he might stay in that position because there was less running to do and it would extend his career.

Less than a year later he lifted the Anglo Scottish Cup, after a final win against Oldham, but the 1978/79 season, a better one for Burnley, proved to be his last full season at the club.

Things weren't going well. Harry Potts was sacked as manager and Burnley were down at the bottom of the league. Noble had again struggled with an injury but by November, with Brian Miller in charge, his time in claret and blue was all but over.

In Miller's first home game, against Orient, he handed debuts to youngsters Vince Overson and Phil Cavener. Alongside them in a 2-1 defeat was skipper Peter Noble but it proved to be his last game for us.

By now he was 35, but his career was far from over. Two months later, Blackpool manager Stan Ternent paid £25,000 to take him to Bloomfield Road where he played for a further three and a half years. It wasn't a successful period for the Seasiders who dropped into the fourth division, but he played almost 100 league games for them before finally hanging up his boots just a few months short of his 39th birthday at the end of the 1982/83 season.

He was still a familiar figure in Burnley. Before leaving the Clarets he'd opened his sports stall in the market hall and it was always a favourite call for many Burnley fans who were always made welcome. He remained there for over twenty years.

Christened Uwe by the Burnley fans who likened him to the great German Uwe Seeler, he was without doubt a massive crowd favourite during his time at Turf Moor and with some justification.

The fans hadn't got it wrong. So good was Noble that Liverpool manager Bob Paisley tried to sign him on more than one occasion during our three year return to the First Division.

Did I say his last appearance in our claret and blue was against Orient? That proved not to be the case, and there was no prouder man than Uwe at Wembley in 1988 when he again pulled on a Burnley shirt to play in the veterans game ahead of our Sherpa Van Trophy Final against Wolves.

This brilliant Claret will still tell you he's a Sunderland fan, and he certainly still has the Mackem accent, but the Burnley fans took him to their hearts in the 1970s and he remains very much a Claret to this day.