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“It’s difficult to put in to words something that is so sad"

Tony Mowbray has paid tribute to Peter Whittingham

23 March 2020

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Tony Mowbray managed Peter Whittingham at the end of his playing career, and the boss couldn't hide his pain following the playmaker's recent passing.

Peter was a member of the 2017-18 League One promotion-winning squad, and certainly had an influence both on and off the pitch during his stay in East Lancashire.

Whilst the footballing world has paid tribute to the Cardiff City legend, Mowbray saw first hand the impact the midfielder had on the team.

“I signed Peter Whittingham having memories of him playing against my teams for many years and every time we seemed to play against him, whether it was for Aston Villa or Cardiff, he was always a thorn in our side and central to everything," he recollected.

“It’s interesting when you sign players and watch them closely and learn more about their personality.

“He was a quiet guy, dry-witted, with some excellent one-liners. It seemed as though he wasn’t taking part in what was being said but then would come out with a one-liner and everyone would laugh and he really was a bright and intelligent guy.

“He was not a day’s problem. He didn’t play every game as he did for much of his career, but he had an influence and the lads really appreciated him and what he did.

“He got on with the work, very unassuming, didn’t thrust a big personality on the group.

“It’s difficult to put in to words something that is so sad. It is very sad news and hard to believe really. It shows how vulnerable we all are in life.

“He will be remembered for his brilliant years as a footballer, his influence on the football pitch, particularly with Cardiff, and how he brought a bit of class to the game.

“I haven’t got any stories for you because he just got his head down, got on with the work, very unassuming, quiet, didn’t push a big personality on the group or around the building but did have some one-liners that you recognised he was a bright, intelligent lad.

“He was a very talented boy and footballers become very close, they have to because they go through lots of emotions together of winning, losing, working hard and pre-seasons where they pushed to exhaustion," he added.

“The pain of defeat, and the joys of winning, develops bonds between men and I’m sure a lot of our players who were here when Peter was here will only have spoken well.

“I could never think of a time when he said anything, or did anything, that would have upset anybody or didn’t buy in to what we were trying to do.

“I’m sure everyone would have been positive about him. The other managers I spoke to, Malky Mackay and people I know in the game, all spoke highly of Peter before we took him.

“I’m not sure what words I can add to what others have been saying other than a lovely lad, a wonderful footballer.

“We got Peter right towards the end of his career but I had felt his quality many times from playing against teams with him in it, you could feel his quality on the pitch.”

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