Tributes paid to former England footballer whose home was in East Kent
Wolverhampton Wanderers legend Peter Broadbent, the only footballer from East Kent to have played for England, has died at the age of 80.
Born in Elvington, Mr Broadbent attended Deal Secondary Modern School (now Castle Community College) from 1945-48 and it was while he was playing for the school team that his soccer skills were first noticed.
He was selected for Kent and then earned an England Schools trial.
After leaving school in 1948 Peter and his older brother Jack, who still lives locally at Blean, near Canterbury, worked at Tilmanstone Colliery but Mr Broadbent was determined to become a professional footballer and later the same year he signed as an amateur for Dover, who were then managed by George Poyser.
His eye-catching displays for the Whites soon earned Peter a trial with Brentord Reserves and the Bees were so impressed that they made arrangements to sign him on professional forms as soon as he reached his 17th birthday.
But before Broadbent left Crabble he helped Dover to beat Ramsgate, that season's Kent League champions, 4-0 in the Kent Senior Cup final in front of a 6.000 crowd at Margate's Hartsdown Park. The match report in a Thanet newspaper said that special mention had to be made of "the brilliant young Peter Broadbent, who mesmerised Ramsgate's left flank."
The rest, as they say, is history. After starring for Brentford, Mr Broadbent joined Wolves in 1950 for a transfer fee of £10,000, making him at that time the most expensive teenager in English football.
Mr Broadbent was capped seven times by England although many observers believe he would have made many more appearances but for the fact he was competing for the England No 10 shirt with another of this country's footballing legends, Johnny Haynes.
Peter, who had suffered from Alzheimer's for nearly 10 years, died peacefully last week at a nursing home in the West Midlands. His funeral took place in Wolverhampton on Tuesday.
Full story in next week's Mercury.
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