Peter Mellor

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Peter Mellor
Personal information
Full name Peter Joseph Mellor
Date of birth (1947-11-20) 20 November 1947 (age 70)
Place of birth Prestbury, Cheshire, England
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[1]
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
1967–69 Witton Albion
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1969–72 Burnley 69 (0)
1972Chesterfield (loan) 4 (0)
1972–77 Fulham 190 (0)
1977–78 Hereford United 32 (0)
1978–81 Portsmouth 129 (0)
1982 Edmonton Drillers 27 (0)
Total 451 (0)
National team
1966 England Youth 1
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Peter Mellor (born 20 November 1947) is an English-born American former professional footballer (soccer player) whose playing career as a goalkeeper spanned three decades. He played 17 years in the top three tiers of English professional soccer with Burnley, Fulham, Hereford United, and Portsmouth. He is now a coach, in the United States.[2]

Early and personal life[edit]

Mellor was born in Prestbury, Cheshire, and was raised in Manchester, England.[3][4] In 1992 he moved to Tampa, Florida.[5] He and his wife Valerie have been married for over four decades, are both US citizens, and have two children.[5] They have lived in Longboat Key, Florida, and Fort Myers, Florida.[6][7]

Soccer playing career[edit]

Mellor's playing career spanned three decades, as he played 17 years and more than 800 league and cup matches in the top three tiers of English professional soccer with Burnley, Fulham, Hereford United, and Portsmouth.[4]

He served as the English U-23 National Team goalkeeper from 1969-70.[8] Mellor won an England Youth cap whilst with his first club Witton Albion in the Cheshire County League.[9] Tall, fair haired and ever-smiling Mellor was soon spotted by Burnley (the Clarets) in 1969, and quickly became their regular keeper, playing for them from 1969-72.[10][11][12] The arrival of Alan Stevenson from Chesterfield in January 1971 saw him going in the opposite direction for a loan period at Saltergate.[13]

From there a month later he was sent to Fulham (the Cottagers; who played at Craven Cottage), which paid £25,000 to the Clarets.[14][15][11] At Fulham, teammate Alan Mullery noted that he thought Mellor had literally broken every finger on both hands.[16] Mellor was to make over 220 appearances for Fulham in all competitions over six seasons, from 1972–77, including perhaps most memorably an appearance in the 1975 FA Cup Final, during which he was unfortunate enough to be deemed at fault for both of West Ham's two goals.[15][12]

In September 1977 Mellor moved to Hereford (the Bulls) for the 1977-78 season, but the following close season moved to his final league club, Portsmouth (Pompey), in July 1978, playing for them until 1982.[15][17][12] Mellor quickly became a hugely popular cult figure at Fratton Park, keeping the emerging young Alan Knight out of the team long after he was ready, as Knight made only eight appearances over the course of three years, until the 1981-82 season.[18][19][20]

In 1981-83 he played for the Edmonton Drillers in the North American Soccer League.[5][21][12] Mellor ended his playing career in Canada, retiring in January 1983.[22][23][12]

Soccer coaching career[edit]

Mellor now lives and coaches in the United States.[22][23]

Mellor became a staff coach with the United States Soccer Federation from 1992 onward, training the goalies.[8][4] He designed and wrote the curriculum for the first US Soccer National Goalkeeping License for coaches.[8] Among the players he has identified or coached are Kasey Keller, Marcus Hahnemann, Brad Friedel, Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Freddy Adu, Oguchi Onyewu, Michael Bradley, Bobby Convey, Tim Howard, Nick Rimando, and Hope Solo.[8][24] He also served as national staff coach and goalkeeping instructor for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America for 15 years.[8]

He served as the goalkeeper coach for the Tampa Bay Mutiny of Major League Soccer (MLS), beginning in 1996.[8][11] That year Mellor also became one of the original coaches for the US U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida.[8][4] In 1997, he became the US Soccer Federation’s first full-time national goalkeeping coach.[21][4] He was a goalkeeper coach at the 2000 Summer Olympics with Team USA, which came in fourth.[5][25] In 2005 through 2007, Mellor served as the assistant coach for the expansion club Real Salt Lake of MLS's Western Conference, managing the goalkeepers and reserve squad.[8][4][26]

In 2010, the United Soccer Leagues retained Mellor as National Technical Director, assigned responsibility for managing the technical aspects of USL's player development programs, helping USL teams in the areas of scouting, development, and advancement of players, and setting up a coaches network in the US and Canada to identify top goalkeeping talent for USL teams.[8]

Beach soccer[edit]

In the late 1980s Mellor came up with the idea for and founded Major Beach Soccer, soccer on the beach.[6][7] His inspiration was beach soccer, that he saw in Brazil.[6] As of 2015, the governing body of soccer was considering making it an Olympic sport.[6] The beach soccer field is much smaller than a maximum size soccer field, the goals are smaller, it includes five players on the field on each side at one time, and it has three 10-minute periods.[6][7] By 2009, there were Major Beach Soccer tournaments being held in Fort Myers Beach, Clearwater Beach, and Daytona Beach.[7] In 2016, Mellor was the Major Beach Soccer President, and 53 teams competed at the Major Beach Soccer National Championship.[27]


  1. ^ "Peter Mellor; North American Soccer League Players",
  2. ^ Angelo Caruso (20 June 2017). "Teen soccer player remains on Team USA, despite recent injury; Adam Henry, NBC-2 WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida.
  3. ^ Tony Williams, Roy Peskett (1970). Rothmans Football Yearbook, 1970–71, Queen Anne Press. ISBN 0-362-00071-9
  4. ^ a b c d e f James Edward (August 9, 2005). "Mellor happy to be coaching for RSL," Deseret News.
  5. ^ a b c d "Peter Mellor," Soccer Banter, May 11, 2011.
  6. ^ a b c d e Richard Dymond (26 July 2015). "Future Manatee soccer stars try their game on sand at Coquina Beach," Bradenton Herald.
  7. ^ a b c d Kevin Johnson (August 17, 2009). "Soccer thrives on the beach," Naples News.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Distinguished US National Team, MLS Coach Peter Mellor Joins USL," OurSports Central.
  9. ^ He played in a 4–1 victory over Wales on 19 March 1966 – AFS DataBase
  10. ^ Profile - "He played for both,"
  11. ^ a b c Tony Scholes (2 June 2013). "Peter Mellor," Clarets Mad.
  12. ^ a b c d e "Football: Peter Mellor,"
  13. ^ Barry J. Hugman (1998). Professional Footballers' Association Premier and Football League Players Records, 1946-98, Queen Anne Press. ISBN 1-85291-585-4
  14. ^ "Soccer Heroes,"
  15. ^ a b c "Memory Lane," Fulham Football Club, September 23, 2012.
  16. ^ Alan Mullery (2016). Alan Mullery Autobiography, Headline.
  17. ^ Colin Farmery (1999). Portsmouth, from Tindall to Ball: A Complete Record, Southend-on-Sea, Desert Island Books. ISBN 1-874287-25-2
  18. ^ Mike Neasom, Mick Cooper, Doug Robinson (1984). Pompey: The History of Portsmouth Football Club, Milestone Publications. ISBN 0-903852-50-0
  19. ^ Colin Farmery (2003). Legend: The Alan Knight Story, Legendary Publishing. ISBN 0-9526760-1-X
  20. ^ "Alan Knight," The News, 18 March 2013.
  21. ^ a b Neil Allen (25 November 2015). "Peter Mellor: The Big Interview," The News.
  22. ^ a b "US Coaching career,"
  23. ^ a b "Foreword to U.S coaching manual," Archived 23 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ "Peter Mellor, National Technical Director – United Soccer Leagues,"
  25. ^ United States Olympic Committee (2000). Red, White, Blue & Gold: The U.S. Olympic Team at the Games of the XXVII Olympiad, Pachyderm Press.
  26. ^ "Transactions", The New York Times, May 25, 2007.
  27. ^ "Nationals Gallery," December 11, 2016,

External links[edit]