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Peter Withe (born 30 August 1951 in Liverpoolmarker, Lancashiremarker) is a much-travelled Englishmarker footballer who played as a striker, between 1971 and 1990. He has also worked as a manager, predominantly in south-east Asia.

The highlights of his career came at Aston Villa, where he was a key player in the Football League title triumph of 1980–81 and scored his side's only goal in their 1982 European Cup Final victory.

His brother, Chris, played for Bradford City.

Playing career

During the summer of 1975, Withe spent one season in the United Statesmarker as a member of the expansion Portland Timbers of the North American Soccer League . The lynchpin of a strong attack, the big Liverpudlian scored 17 goals and added 7 assists in 22 games to lead the Timbers to first place in their division and a tie for the best record in the league at 16–6. The Timbers played two home play-off games in front of more than 30,000 fans each, numbers unheard of for US soccer at the time. They advanced to Soccer Bowl '75, the League Championship, where they lost to the Tampa Bay Rowdies 2–0.

Withe won the Football League First Division championship with Nottingham Forest but then left on the verge of their European Cup glory to join Newcastle United, then in the Second Division. Brian Clough, keen to raise funds to bring in Trevor Francis from Birmingham City, took the chance to quadruple his money, selling the powerful striker to Newcastle for £200,000. The Magpies were Withe's ninth club in less than eight years.

Ron Saunders took him to Aston Villa on the eve of the 1980–81 season when the Midlands club forked out £500,000 on the journeyman 29-year old striker, the club's record signing at the time but a snip considered the service he gave them over the next five years. Withe formed a deadly and almost telepathic partnership up front with young starlet Gary Shaw, and he netted 20 times in 36 games to finish joint-top scorer in the league with Tottenham Hotspur's Steve Archibald in that first season as Aston Villa went on to win the Football League title. Withe was also the scorer of Villa's winner against Bayern Munich in the European Cup final of 1982, the most important match in the club's history.

After five years, he eventually moved on to Sheffield United, in what he later described as "the biggest wrench of my career."

Capped by England 11 times, Withe scored once, and was also the first-ever English player representing Aston Villa to feature in a World Cup Finals squad (in España 82).

Managerial career

Withe went into management and, after propelling the Thailand national team towards some success, managed Indonesia until 18 January 2007. He was sacked due to his side's inability to go past the first round of the ASEAN Football Championship, the tournament which he previously won with Thailand in 2000 and 2002, then finished as the runner-up with Indonesia in 2004. He was given a brief touchline ban as manager of Thailand for wearing shorts during an international match against the United Arab Emirates. The head of the Thai Football Association said he should be wearing a suit.

He had a brief spell as manager of Wimbledon, being brought in from the position of reserve team coach at Aston Villa in October 1991 following Ray Harford's resignation. Withe's time in charge was not at all successful, winning only one game out of thirteen in the league, and he was replaced after just 105 days at the helm by the club's youth team coach Joe Kinnear, partly as a result of player complaints to the directors about Withe's style of man-management.

Present day

Peter currently lives in a house built on the Joondalup Golf Resort in Joondalupmarker, Perthmarker, Western Australiamarker. Peter plays a lot of golf these days.

Peter has a son, Jason, who has followed in his father's footsteps by becoming Aldershot Town FC Head of Youth in the 2008-09 season. However, he left his post by mutual decision and is currently scouting for Norwich City FC.

Career honours

As a player

Portland Timbers USA

  • 1975 [[Division Winners|North American Soccer League]
  • 1975 [[Soccer Bowl Finalist|USA]Lost 0 - 2 Tampa Bay Rowdies]

Nottingham Forest


Aston Villa

  • 1980/81 League Championship
  • 1981/82 European Cup
  • 1982/83 European Super Cup

External links

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