Welcome! It’s a Wednesday night in 2026 and what else would you rather be doing than celebrating a football miracle? For tonight, Peter Beardsley will receive his 100th England at the ripe old age of 65. It is, quite frankly, ludicrous.
If you’re new to this, allow me to break the magic for a second with a short Q&A.
Q. Why is the old man still playing football – let alone for England?
What I thought was a footballing miracle turned out to be a glitch that the Twitter community (and one man on YouTube) were all too keen to point out to me. If you put a player on your shortlist, he will never retire.
Q. Why was Peter Beardsley on your shortlist you maniac?
I do this to identify old players who retire and then snap up their re-gens for free or a pittance. This backfired.
Q. Does he still play club football even though he is 65?
Well, sort of. He’s player-manager of Premier League Man City. He saves himself for the big games
Q. His stats must be woeful…?
Q. Why is he in the England team?
When I realised he wasn’t ever going to retire, my new mission in the game/life in general was to get him in my England team and win the World Cup. That actually happened. It was beautiful.
Right, so now you’re all caught up. I can’t say I’m over the moon to Live Text you a friendly between England and the USA, so it’s going to be farcical. Just so you know.
Would you believe it, Beardsley starts.
England: Twiss, Ormerod, Dennis, Hinchcliffe, Limber, Ford, Peake, Cureton, Beardsley, Lee, Musselwhite. Subs: Caesar, Wilkinson, Gallen, Mendes, Cox.
USA: Henderson, Moore, Bent, Mason, Petroski, Kooiman, Balboa, Buskirk, Dooley, Meola, Keller. Subs: Balboa, Petroski, Lassiter, Stewart, Ramos.
Hardly a household name in there, so again, some gaps to fill. Whilst I don’t know who everybody is, Leo Lee is Alan Shearer and Danny Cureton is Paul Merson. Peake is McManaman and Dennis is Kieron Dyer. The rest, I don’t know. The USA have a man called Joe Max Dooley, and the Balboa twins, so I’m all for it.
Beardsley asked not to wear the captains armband tonight and wanted to treat it like any other fixture. It was January 1986 when the man dubbed ‘Pedro’ was given his England debut by Sir Bobby Robson, but few would believe he would still be getting caps 40 years later.
I have no video making ability but fortunately, this man has. Enjoy:
Anyway, we’re getting off piste. There’s a huge game to be won here at Wembley. The players are in the tunnel. Beardsley, ever the professional, requested no pre-match japes so that’ll be a shame for anybody in the party spirit. Hang about, Beardsley isn’t among the team as they take to the pitch. Has he been caught short, in a tribute to 1986 World Cup strike partner Gary Lineker?
Well now I’ve seen everything. Beardsley has his own open top bus!
It’s another classic Beardsley prank. Here’s the teams again for tonight’s game.
(I took that screenshot 1 minute into the game and they’d already messed about.)
The anthems have been observed, immaculately, and it’s kick off time. Incidentally, many of you have asked why the USA are the opponents of choice for such a landmark fixture. Well, Beardsley’s first International goal was scored in Los Angeles back in 1986, and even though that was against Mexico, that’s all I’ve got to work with here people.
KICK OFF – Beardsley kicks us underway, amid a tepid atmosphere.
3 mins – England passing the ball about neatly without threatening. The Wembley crowd, which looks to be about 60,000, have started a chant of ‘Thank you Peter’. How lovely.
8 mins – Finally some action! Leo Lee gets a yard of space in the box but his low shot is well held by Henderson.
12 mins – YELLOW CARD
It’s only a friendly lads! Tony Kooiman goes in the book for a late lunge on Danny Cureton.
15 mins – England are getting closer. Beardsley and Lee combine and again Lee gets a shot away, but this time he is wide of the mark. The England captain is busy though.
18 mins – We’re in a lull, which often happens in International friendlies. Here’s a reminder of England’s group for this summer’s World Cup which is also in Mexico, much like Beardsley’s first in 1986.
23 mins – Some action! USA have a corner which Keller heads wide despite being unmarked. It’s a let off, if that’s the right term.
25 mins – Beardsley! Wide! A glorious opening for the pensioner but he’s fluffed his lines, dragging a shot from the edge of the box wide. It would have been too perfect.
26 mins – Beardsley! Wide! Again! This time Lee knocks down a long diagonal and Beardsley’s snapshot is drilled wide. He’s getting closer.
30 mins – YELLOW CARD
The Americans didn’t come for the love tonight, Meola is in the book for a cynical trip on Pat Dennis.
34 mins – YELLOW CARD
I don’t believe this. The referee has booked Beardsley! It’s a forwards challenge, and he’s older than everything, but no sympathy is given and it’s a yellow for Beardsley.
36 mins – Crossbar! Leo Lee meets a Peake cross with a thumping header but it only meets the crossbar. Still 0-0.
40 mins – Beardsley is desperate to score tonight, even if he won’t admit it. He’s on a mazy run here but he puts his shot wide whilst stretching. Unlucky son.
43 mins – We’re fizzling out to half time here. Make plans for tea.
HALF TIME – England 0 – 0 USA
Not a classic. Unless you are Peter Beardsley.
England have definitely had the better of it, but there’s been nothing to get excited about.
I imagine this was a great game though
You can play as any of the 34 International teams on the game. Wowsa. Join us next week on http://www.peterbeardsleysinternationalfootball.co.uk for a new blog*
Anyway, away from this half time stupidity, the second half is upon us
KICK OFF – USA get us back underway here at Wembley.
49 mins – There’s a football match going on, I almost forgot. Patrick Dennis heads over Cureton’s corner. That’s actually a decent chance. Oh well.
53 mins- YELLOW CARD
Peter Bent is the latest to fall victim to a referee who has no tolerance in a friendly match. Bent is booked for fouling Lee Peake.
56 mins – Literally nothing is happening. Even Beardsley looks bored. To be fair, he has a Man City team to prepare for the weekend and instead he is here.
59 mins – YELLOW CARD
Patrick Dennis is in the book for tripping Michael van Buskirk. That is a tremendous name, but that doesn’t mean you should get booked for fouling him.
65 mins – The Wembley crowd are on their feet on 65 minutes as a tribute to Beardsley, who is of course 65. I suppose they couldn’t do it on 100 minutes, if we’re still playing on minute 100 after this stinker there’ll be a lot of glum faces and an empty stadium. Anyway, Beardsley looks thrilled
England of course wearing their throwback kit tonight…
70 mins – SUBSTITUTION
England freshen things up with two changes. Veteran Roy mendes replaces Leo Lee whilst other veteran Justin Cox replaces Charlie Ormerod. Of course, neither are as veterany as Beardsley, who takes the armband.
76 mins – Still we meander on, going nowhere in a hurry. Are we going to see a goal?
79 mins – GOAL! England 1 – 0 USA (Cox)
COX shouts the commentator. Whilst I surpress a childish giggle, England have scored. Beardsley is at the heart of it, exchanging passes with Mendes (combined age 99) before seeing his shot spilled by the keeper. It falls to the Valencia man Justin Cox, who you may recall scored the winner in the World Cup final of 2022, who gleefully taps home. Everyone piles on Beardsley in celebration, which is a risk when you consider he is 65 (but that strength of 11 will see him through).
84 mins – England playing keep ball now. Nobody cares.
86 mins – SUBSTITUTION
Another two changes, Simon Gallen is on for Patrick Dennis followed by Andy Caesar replacing Pat Limber.
88 mins – The USA nearly becomes extreme party-poopers but John Moore heads over. The full back was a long way forward there, but his header was just off target. Hopefully there is no stoppage time.
90 mins – 1 minute added on, as a courtesy presumably.
FULL TIME – England 1 – 0 USA
A dull match but Beardsley got a decent turn out for the big occasion. Denny Cureton gets man of the match, which is probably fair.
Such a dull match, I don’t know why the USA bothered.
So, with little else to say, that wraps up tonight’s shenanigans. Peter is glad you came
In all seriousness though, we’ve got a couple of posts left before we reach the end, so to be able to bring you an occasion such as this is a real pleasure. Toodles for now