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June 6, 2014 5:14 pm

The Inventory: Peter Shilton

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Peter Shilton©Ian Derry/Chilli Media

Peter Shilton, 64, has played more international and World Cup matches for England than any other player. He has 125 caps, and represented England in three World Cups. He was awarded an MBE in 1986 and an OBE in 1991 for services to the game.

. . .

What was your earliest ambition?

I started playing football when I was at primary school – it was something I was always going to do.

Public school or state school? University or straight into work?

State: King Richard III boys’ school in Leicester. I signed for Leicester City as an apprentice, at 15.

Who was your mentor?

George Dewis, who trained me from the age of 10 until I was 15 and looked after me in the youth team. At the time, Gordon Banks was Leicester’s goalkeeper, and my hero, but George was my mentor.

How physically fit are you?

For my age, very. Always have been!

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

I would put talent at 75 per cent and ambition at 25 per cent. Without talent you’ve got nothing.

Have you ever taken an IQ test?

No. I’ve been on a couple of quiz shows and not done badly, though. At school, my headmaster wanted me to do A-levels, but my dad could see my mind was set on football.

How politically committed are you?

The NHS is fantastic, and we take a lot of things for granted, such as freedom of speech. Labour and the Conservatives both have strengths and weaknesses. There’s so much poverty in the world – the balance isn’t right, it seems very unfair.

Pineau de Re ridden by Leighton Aspell crosses the finishing line to win the Grand National horse race at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, north-west England, on April 5 2014©AFP

Would like to own: a Derby winner

Do you consider your carbon footprint?

I’ve certainly got better at it in terms of recycling and so on.

Do you have more than one home?


What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?

I always had a dream of owning a racehorse that would win the Derby or the Grand National. And maybe owning a league club – I do miss the involvement.

What’s your biggest extravagance?

Eating out – in this day and age it’s quite expensive.

In what place are you happiest?

When I was younger, on the football pitch. Now: I’ve got a new partner, Steph, and we’ve been together over two years – so, being with her and with my family.

What ambitions do you still have?

I do a lot of corporate speaking and I’ve done quite a bit of TV abroad, so maybe a regular TV spot in Britain, to give my thoughts not just on the game in general but on goalkeeping.

If you had a coat of arms, what would be on it?

Peter Shilton's imaginary coat of arms

The twin towers at Wembley. I spent my England career there, and when I grew up, watching cup finals was amazing. Against that background, a racehorse kicking a football. Football and racing are my two real loves.

What drives you on?


What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?

Breaking the records I did in football and having the career I’ve had. And making my parents proud of me.

What has been your greatest disappointment?

1974 would have been my first ever World Cup, but we failed to beat Poland in 1973 and missed out on going. And at times I’ve appeared in the press for the wrong reasons.

If your 20-year-old self could see you now, what would he think?

I hope he would think “I’m proud of that person”. I’m not making excuses, but when you start at seven and think “football, football, football”, all your life, you do make mistakes in other things.

If you lost everything tomorrow, what would you do?

Being involved in business is something I’m interested in. Or television. I’d make things happen.

England's Martin Chivers outjumps a Polish defender to win the ball in the air during their vital 1973 World Cup qualifier at the Wembley Stadium on October 17 1973©Getty

Big disappointment: Poland, 1973

Do you believe in assisted suicide?


Do you believe in an afterlife?

Not really. But I do believe in something spiritual: so many times in my life I’ve needed a little bit of luck, and it has happened.

If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?



Peter Shilton is working with Jumbo Games to launch Wasgij Original 21: Football Fever. Visit for more details.

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