At the 1986 World Cup finals, England were struggling. Skipper Bryan Robson was injured. Again. And old faithful midfielder Ray Wilkins had managed to get himself sent off in their first game.
An unlikely figure came to the rescue, galvanising the team with his skill and guile and freeing Gary Lineker up so much that he went on to win the Golden Boot.
That figure was Peter Beardsley – one of England's smartest and sharpest second strikers.
He always scored goals – for Newcastle, Liverpool, Everton and more – but he was as much a provider as an outright striker, creating space for others or teeing up teammates with intelligent passes and pinpoint crosses.
At Liverpool, he linked with John Barnes and John Aldridge to devastating effect. For England, as Lineker put it, he was 'the best partner I could ever have' – deserved praise for one of England's most under-rated foreards.
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