In the rich tapestry of Burnley's football history, few players have managed to etch their names as indelibly as Peter Noble. With his unmistakable Bobby Charlton-esque haircut, Noble was a figure who, depending on when and where, either thrilled the Burnley faithful or played the role of the antagonist, notably during his time at Swindon.
Emerging from Newcastle United's setup, Noble's journey in professional football began, ironically, at a club he might not have supported as a child. But despite his boyhood leanings towards Sunderland, he gave his all for the Magpies, notching up a respectable 7 goals in 25 outings.
Yet, it was at Swindon Town where Noble truly began to turn heads. Secured for a modest £8,000, he made an instant impact, leading the goal charts in his debut full season. Notably, he also played a pivotal role in a crucial League Cup semi-final against Burnley, scoring the winning goal. The price of that winner? A broken shoulder blade that went undiagnosed for half a decade.
His goal-laden spells at Swindon, including strikes in consecutive Anglo-Italian Cup Finals, made him a sought-after name, and Burnley secured his services for £40,000 in 1973. But it wasn't just his goal-scoring ability that made Noble invaluable. At Burnley, he showcased his versatility, adapting to various positions, whether it was the unfamiliar role of a right-back or filling the boots of Martin Dobson in midfield.
In midfield, his knack for goals re-emerged. He led the club's scoring charts multiple times and developed a reputation as the club's penalty maestro. Of the 28 penalties he took, none missed their mark. This reliability saw him don the captain's armband, and he had the privilege of lifting the Anglo-Scottish Cup for Burnley.
However, as the wheel of time turned, so did the fortunes of the club and Noble. Following Burnley's drop to the Third Division, Noble's splendid stint at Turf Moor came to an end, and he moved to Blackpool. Even as the seasiders grappled with their on-field struggles, Noble's commitment never waned, underlining his professional ethos.
Post-retirement, the hustle and bustle of the football pitch gave way to the quieter confines of a sports store in Burnley's market. Yet, for those who had seen him play, every mention of Peter Noble brought forth memories of a player who, regardless of the jersey he wore, gave everything on the pitch.