Hall of Shame #29: David Peach
Should David Peach enter the Hall of Shame? You can decide. But this isn’t just a yes or no decision on whether yet another of Town’s duffers enters this famed collection of crap, your vote will decide how deep the diarrhea actually is. Alex Cooke provides the options.
I never saw David Peach play and those who did are still divided about him. Some saw a good player whose best days had long passed, others spoke of a football so far below what was expected, you’d think he used his sweet left foot to half-volley newborn kittens into threshing machines. So let’s get started.
David Peach was a left-back, part of the same lame legion of duff defenders, which for Swindon already includes the likes of Jason Drysdale, Yinka Casal and Gary Elkins. Except Peach had form. He was an England u21 and B international, he’d played more than 400 times for Gillingham and Southampton, winning an FA Cup along the way. He joined Swindon in 1980 at the age of 30.
Peach was signed from Saints as a replacement for Town’s local, legendary, record-appearance-maker and retiree John Trollope. It was a move that could be described as:
A. Tricky for who ever had fill those famous boots.
B. Impossible. Trollope was, and remains, an icon.
C. As bigger a disappointment as find that on meeting 69hotblonde from Match.com the name comes from his age, weight in stone and perspiration problem.
Peach cost manager Bobby Smith a then club-record sum of £150,000 (which using the Bank of England’s inflation calculator is about £544,000 now). This fee was:
A. A weighty price tag, which made Town fans judge him even more harshly.
B. Pretty good value, as judging by his waistline. He must have been about £10 per pound of meat.
C. The most over-priced thing to come out of Southampton since a peak-time train ticket to London.
Peach scored 64 goals in his career, a good number of which had been from the penalty spot, and so his left foot could be described as:
B. A powerful left peg, which while once deadly was getting weak.
C. Like a magic wand – in that some people pretend can do wonderful things with it but in reality is actually completely useless stick.
David Peach made his Town debut in a 6-2 thrashing at Millwall, his debut proved that:
A. He would take some time to adjust to Town’s style and standard of play.
B. He just wasn’t very good.
C. He was as much use as a footballer as Nigel Farage would be as a bath tub, even if you hollowed him out and rammed taps into each eye.
At Gillingham and Saints, Peach had been known for his passing and powerful shooting, as a defender he was:
A. Struggling with the drop from Division One to Division Three.
B. He always got close to his man, largely because he had enough mass to create his own gravity and suck them towards him.
C. He tackled like a man trying to eat jelly with a spade – ineptly, clumsily and with the air of someone who is sure that what he is doing just isn’t good manners.
Peach’s Swindon career finally ended when he was given a free transfer to Leyton Orient.
A. As has happened throughout our history, the club had over-spent and was now cutting back:
B. We tried to sell him for a small fee to Orient in the summer of 1981 but once their chairman stopped laughing he said no. He stopped laughing on 14 December 2004.
C. It was in East London that someone on the mail train finally heard the muffled cries from wriggling bag at the back of the mail train, marked ‘To Timbuktu’.
On the scale of dreadful Swindon left-backs, David Peach is as bad as:
A. Gareth Hall – hefty slow and long, long past it.
B. Jason Drysdale – horribly expensive, but hamstrung by who he had to replace.
C. Yinka Casal – a cruel experiment in managerial desperation.