A long time ago there were two brothers named
Cain & Abel Cyril and Peter. Both of them would enter the footballing arena, but sadly one of them would fall by the wayside. They were both immortalized in song, but for two very different reasons.
This is about the younger Knowles who might not be familiar to you… until you hear the song.
Peter Knowles, along with his his older sibling would take up association football with Peter initially playing in the Wolverhampton Wanderers youth team before being called into the first team action.
In the few years which saw a relegation for Wolves until an eventual promotion back to the 1st Division, Knowles’ game flourished and this was recognised with a call up to the England U23′s squad.
In 1967, in a bid to raise awareness of “soccer” in the United States, FIFA set up a mini-league in with various teams from Britain representing different states. Wolves represented Los Angeles (to be known as the Los Angeles Wolves with Knowles featuring in the side which won this league.
Then in 1969 Knowles would once again return to play in the USA, this time for the Kansas City Spurs. It was on this trip which would start the beginning of the end… …of his footballing career.
It was during this stay in Kansas that there was a knock at his door and instead of slamming it in their faces (as you normally do as soon as you see who it is), Knowles invited these people in because yes, he was interested to hear this good news.
Upon his return to Britain, Knowles made that he had become a Jehovah’s Witness convert, and said: “I shall continue playing football for the time being but I have lost my ambition. Though I still do my best on the field I need more time to learn about the Bible and may give up football.”
So the 1969-70 season got under way and Wolves won seven out of their first eight matches, but after the eighth
day game of the season Knowles quit and walked away from football forever…
Wolves held a hope that he won have a change of heart and return, they kept his contract open for another 12 years but it was never to be.
Apparently he can still be found wandering the streets of Wolverhampton trying to convert others and has no regrets.
» In 1991 Billy Bragg released Don’t Try This At Home with a song on the album telling the story of the Wolves and England prospect:
“God’s footballer hears the voices of angels
above the choir at Molyneaux
God’s footballer stands on the doorstep
and brings the good news of the kingdom to come
While the crowd sing Rock of Ages
The goals bring weekly wages
Yet the glory of the sports pages
is but the worship of false idols and tempts him not
God’s footballer turns on a sixpence
and brings the Great Crowd to their feet in praise of him
God’s footballer quotes from the Gospels
while knocking on doors in the Black Country back streets
He scores goals on a Saturday
And saves souls on a Sunday
For the Lord says these are the Last Days
Prepare thyself for the Judgement yet to come
His career will be over soon
And the rituals of a Saturday afternoon
Bid him a reluctant farewell
For he knows beyond the sport lies the spiritual”
Additional: A live version by Billy performed at Glastonbury in 1995.
For reasons unknown (I don’t follow rugby) he dedicated the song to Jonah Lomu.
|Billy Bragg – God’s Footballer
(Live at Glastonbury 1995)
Thanks to ED who suggested/requesting this a long time ago.
Also to e-rawk who named a few others. They will be coming up. Eventually.
As for the other Knowles brother…?
I’ve posted something about him previously and you know who when I say:
“Nice one _ _ _ _ _ , nice one son. Nice one _ _ _ _ _ …let’s have another one.”