FORMER Bradford City winger Peter Beagrie has promised to perform the most spectacular somersault of his career if he scores at Chelsea in the FA Cup tomorrow. Richard Sutcliffe
The evergreen 39-year-old is player-coach at Scunthorpe United and knows the third round tie is the ultimate meeting of the artisans and the aristocrats.
In his 21st season, Beagrie has netted 97 goals in 717 games and has invariably marked each of those strikes with a trademark somersault. He said: "I have only scored once this season so have only done one somersault, which at my age is probably a good thing. I felt okay afterwards so it shows there is life in the old dog yet. If I score at Chelsea, there will be no stopping me – I'll probably somersault right out of the stadium."
Tomorrow's tie will be his 167th appearance for Scunthorpe, taking him level with the tally of games he played in a four-year spell at Bradford City. It is a time he looks back fondly on. "I went there from Manchester City hoping to earn a move back to the Premiership and managed it with Bradford.
"We had a fantastic set of players who worked so hard for each other. Some had played at big clubs but there were no huge egos in the dressing room. Jamie Lawrence was very modest about his ability and I once told him 'you have a great talent, you should shout it from the rooftops'.
"His reply was 'I prefer just to get on with my job and let people focus on the colour of my hair or something else'. That said a lot about him because Jamie was a hugely important player.
"Winning promotion was the highlight, even if staying in the Premiership the following season was probably the biggest achievement."
Beagrie admits an upset is highly unlikely tomorrow against Jose Mourinho's side, adding: "My first thought was 'Christ, we could lose by 10 down there'. But I went to Stamford Bridge with Bradford as huge underdogs and we only lost by the odd goal.
"I still play on the left wing and, no doubt, Mourinho is deciding whether to pick Glen Johnson or Paulo Ferreira in an attempt to keep me quiet! Our squad cost 175,000, which was spent on Steve Torpey, so there is something of a gap. But it is a great draw and hopefully we can put on a good show."