Gavin Keith Peacock (born 18 November 1967) is an English former professional footballer who played as a midfielder and striker from 1984 until 2002 notably in the Premier League for Newcastle United and Chelsea.
|Full name||Gavin Keith Peacock|
|Date of birth||18 November 1967|
|Place of birth||Eltham, England|
|Playing position||Midfielder, Striker|
|1984–1987||Queens Park Rangers||17||(1)|
|1987||→ Gillingham (loan)||6||(0)|
|1996||→ Queens Park Rangers (loan)||5||(2)|
|1996–2002||Queens Park Rangers||186||(34)|
|2001||→ Charlton Athletic (loan)||5||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
He also played in the Football League for Queens Park Rangers, Gillingham, Bournemouth and Charlton Athletic. He then worked in the media as a pundit, and in September 2008 relocated to Canada to study theology with a view to becoming a Christian minister.
Peacock comes from a footballing family, his father Keith played for Charlton. Though Peacock followed Charlton Athletic as a child, he maintained a soft spot for Newcastle United. His father's side of the family are from North East England, they followed Newcastle United and Peacock in his youth owned Newcastle replica shirts; he also regularly visited South Shields on the Peacock family holidays.
Peacock started his career at Queens Park Rangers, making 17 appearances in the First Division and scoring once before he moved to Third Division Gillingham in 1987 in a move which was started by his father, Keith, Gillingham's manager. Shortly after joining, his father was sacked by the club but Gavin remained on as a player until after their relegation to the Fourth Division in 1989.
He was signed by Harry Redknapp for Bournemouth in a £250,000 deal on 16 August 1989, but was unable to prevent their relegation to the Third Division that season. He began the 1990-91 season still at Bournemouth, but on 30 November 1990 he made the move back to the Second Division when Jim Smith paid Bournemouth £275,000 to take Peacock to Newcastle United.
Peacock himself was not the first in the family to be on the books of Newcastle, his father's cousin was at Newcastle United in the 1950s, though he did not make a first team debut. Peacock stated that his family lineage and connection to the North East was a big draw in him signing for Newcastle United when the opportunity came up with an offer from Jim Smith, the then manager of Newcastle.
The Magpies were in the Second Division at the time and were founder members of the new Division One on the creation of the new FA Premier League in 1992, and in the 1992-93 season he helped them win the Division One title. His goalscoring record for the Magpies was impressive, as their top scorer in 1991-92 with 16 goals and one of their best scorers in the promotion season with 12 goals.
Peacock famously scored both home and away for Chelsea in 1–0 victories over Manchester United in the 1993–94 season. Both sides met again in the FA Cup Final, and with the score at 0–0 just before half time, Peacock hit the crossbar from 25 yards and missed a golden opportunity to gain silverware. Manchester United went on to win the final 4-0 and achieve the double. Peacock finished joint top scorer that season with an impressive 14 goals from midfield. He helped them reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1995 and the FA Cup semi finals in 1996.
Peacock returned to Queens Park Rangers in 1996, having lost his place in the Chelsea team to new signing Roberto Di Matteo.
He made a brief return to the Premier League in 2001 after going on loan to Charlton Athletic in 2001, where his father was now assistant manager. Peacock returned to QPR for the 2001/2 season, at the end of which he retired, having made 196 appearances in total for the club. By this stage, however, they were in Division Two. In total he scored more than 100 goals in over 540 league appearances.
After retiring, Peacock worked with the BBC, regularly appearing as a pundit on Football Focus, Score, Match of the Day 2, BBC Radio 5 Live's comedy game show Fighting Talk and the BBC Radio 4 comedy show "One". He also hosted a weekly podcast on the official Chelsea website.
Married to Amanda since 1989, the couple have two children: son, Jake (b 1993), and daughter, Ava (b 1996). They had a house in Bexley, Kent before Peacock started his theological studies, and a small holiday home in Canada in the Rocky Mountains.
He started attending the local Methodist church at the age of 18 and soon afterwards became a Christian. Near the end of his career and after he retired he began preaching in his local church St Michaels and All Angels in Wilmington. He presented a feature on Football Focus about faith in the game in December 2006. He also presented Songs of Praise on 10 February 2008, at the same time as his coverage of the Africa Cup of Nations final. Having studied theology from September 2006 at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, after completing his punditry duties at Euro 2008, he moved to Canada for a three-year masters course in divinity at Ambrose Seminary. with the intention of becoming a minister. He is currently an Elder and Pastor at Calvary Grace Church in Calgary. In April 2016 he co-authored The Grand Design, a book presenting a complementarian view of gender roles.
- "Life as a Professional". officialplayersites.com. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
- Peacock, Gavin. "Official Website of Gavin Peacock". officialplayersites.com. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
- "Fond memories of old king goal!". shieldsgazette.com. 11 April 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
- "Gavin Peacock: Calling fires journey from Wembley to pulpit". The Independent. 2 December 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 April 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Gavin peacock". BBC Press Office. Archived from the original on 15 February 2008. Retrieved 31 May 2008.
- NEW GAVIN PEACOCK SHOW PODCAST LIVE | Chelsea | News | Latest News
- Cascarino, Tony (31 May 2008). "Gavin Peacock convinced God is on his side". London: The Times. Retrieved 31 May 2008.
- "Gavin Peacock". Songs of Praise. Retrieved 31 May 2008.
- Dart, Tom (7 May 2008). "Gavin Peacock departs for religious journey". London: The Times. Retrieved 31 May 2008.
- "Where r they now - Gavin Peacock". Www.qpr.co.uk. Retrieved 14 May 2013.