Peter McWilliam

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Peter McWilliam
Personal information
Date of birth (1879-09-21)21 September 1879
Place of birth Inverness, Scotland
Date of death 1 October 1951(1951-10-01) (aged 72)
Place of death Redcar, England
Playing position Left-half
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Inverness Thistle
Newcastle United
National team
1905–1911 Scotland 8 (0)
Teams managed
1912–1927 Tottenham Hotspur
1927–1934 Middlesbrough
1938–1942 Tottenham Hotspur
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Peter McWilliam (21 September 1879 – 1 October 1951) was a Scottish footballer who played at left-half for Inverness Thistle, Newcastle United and Scotland. He went on to manage both Tottenham Hotspur and Middlesbrough.


McWilliam was born 21 September 1879 in Argyle Street, Inverness. The fourth child of six to Peter McWilliam (1851-188?) and Jane Neish (1852–1885). His father was a grocer's porter and the family had previously moved to Inverness from Forgue, Aberdeenshire. In 1905, while a player for Newcastle United, he married Florence Woof (1885–1970), a woman from Redcar, Yorkshire. They moved to this locality shortly afterwards and had four children. McWilliam died 1 October 1951 in Redcar and is buried in the nearby Kirkleatham cemetery.

Football career[edit]

Peter McWilliam started his playing career at Inverness Thistle and remained with them for two years[1] before starting a very successful period at Newcastle United between 1902 and 1911. He played 241 games, scoring 12 goals from the left half position. He won honours with Newcastle being part of the 1904-05, 1905–06 and 1908–09 Football League Championship sides and was an FA Cup Finalist in 1905, 1906 and 1908. In 1910 he won an FA Cup winner's medal. He was also capped eight times by the Scotland. The football world knew him as "Peter the Great"{see "Scotland's Greatest Games" by David Potter page 41}, and he was hugely popular with the Geordie fans.[citation needed]. His playing career came to an end following an injury sustained in an international match against Wales in March 1911.

Managerial career[edit]

He managed Tottenham Hotspur for two spells between which he was manager at Middlesbrough.[2] In his first spell at Tottenham which started in December 1912 he managed the team during one of its successful periods. This included the Second Division Title in 1920 and following promotion winning the FA Cup in 1921 and runners up in the First Division in 1922. In 1927 he left Spurs to manage Middlesbrough having been enticed by an offer of a £1500 salary per annum.[3]

Although he enjoyed some success at the club over five seasons he never gained the full popularity of the fans. He returned to London briefly as a chief scout for Arsenal, having declined their offer to manage them, before once again managing Tottenham in 1938, during which time he promoted many younger players to the first team from the ‘nursery side’ at Northfleet, including Bill Nicholson. The intervention of the war effectively brought his managerial career to an end and he retired in 1942.[4]


  • Joannou, Paul. A Complete Who's Who of Newcastle United.
  • Joannou, P., Canning, T., Canning, P. Haway The Lads, The Illustrated Story of Newcastle United.

Potter David "Scotland's Greatest Games"

External links[edit]