Peter Grotier From West Ham Anyone?

Last updated : 17 May 2011 By Neil Hobbs

At a time when talk of unity and sticking together are but ploys and sound bytes who remembers the time Lincoln literally clubbed together to buy West Ham legend Peter Grotier. That's right the fans, the community as a whole, raised £16,666, our record fee at  the time. With Jo Anyon and the retired Muzzy the only keepers on the books we pay tribute to a bloke we could do with next season 


Cockney keeper Peter Grotier was born in Stratford. He starred for Trinity School in Canning Town and his County before being snapped up by The Hammers youth set up in 1966, leaving school early.  A strong presence, but then you had to be, from a young age he had the reactions of a cat. He quickly became understudy to Scot stopper Bobby Ferguson a legend to rusty old irons.


Fortunately for the Imps, Bobby Fergusson and then Mervyn Day, limited his appearances for West Ham to  54 (50 league 4 Cup) between 1969 and 1974.  Just Take a look at this for a team - Grotier; McDowell, Lampard; Bonds, Taylor, Howe; Redknapp, Lindsay, Hurst, Brooking, Eustace. And the mighty Leeds beat them 3-2 with Grotier nominated for man of the match!  Towards the end of the 73/74 season, with a new deal on the table,  it was make your mind up time. Reasoning that Day was the new number one, and now in his prime, he went on loan to Cardiff and then the Imps.


At the beginning of the 74/75 season a 6 week loan at the Imps saw him find his special place. He was loved by the Clanford who had just seen the enforced retirement of long serving John Kennedy. Young manager Graham Taylor layed out his community club vision, Peter the Great bought the optimism and was up for it. He would be the rock upon which promotion up the Football League would rest. Only problem now would be the fee. West Ham did not really want to see him go and set the Imps the task of finding a record club fee of £16,666. The supporters club got out the buckets and went City wide. Businesses, board members, pub collections. Just about everyone coughed up something.  Only Lincoln folk can do this for their club each and every time of asking. It has happened before and through the ‘Admin days’ and now shares, it will happen again it seems. Imp fans you see give everything and ask for nothing but heart and effort in return.


We got our money worth. From that debut home match v Chester he would go on to make 134 consecutive appearances. He missed only 4 games in his first 4 seasons. And what performances. Point balank saves from bullet headers. He could keep it out with his head, legs and finger nails.  Deservedly he was named in the PFA Division Four Team of the Year in both 1974/75 and 1975/76.  The Great Grotier  would become the rock upon which our record breaking championship feet in 75/76, nominated by the Daily Express for their League Division 4 "Footballer of the Year" award.  He was the Player of the Season in 1977/78. This despite letting in 3 to our rivals Boston in the county cup final in 1976/77. This was a rarity for a brilliant keeper, rarer still the two managers, Howard Wilkinson for Boston and Graham Taylor for the Imps, would both go on to become England manager.


Despite being a goalkeeper, Grotier scored three times for City - all three wereg penalties in Lincolnshire Senior Cup matches.  After a total of 233 League appearances plus 30 cup , and still only 30,  Peter moved to Cardiff City in February 1980 for £25,000.  He played 38 League games for the Welsh outfit before joining the Cod.  Whilst goalkeeping coach there he famously came out of retirement at 36 to star in an FA Cup game against Watford.

Peter certainly knows the difference between cod and cobblers, he is now a very successful shoe importer back in Essex.


Seasons Played: 1974/75-1979/80

Position: Goalkeeper

Date of Birth: 18/10/1950 Born Stratford,

 Debut: 17.08.1974, Chester (h), Div 4

League Games: 233

Clubs: West Ham United, Cardiff City (loan), MIGHTY IMPS, Cardiff City, Grimsby Town.