‘That’s My Boy’ – Proud Mum Jackie Hucker on her Son, Peter

I’m not sure which football magazine this originates from, but the following article on our former goalkeeper, Peter Hucker, dates back to 1983:

‘It was written in the stars that Queen’s Park Rangers goalkeeper Peter Hucker would make a name for himself.

The prediction followed a visit by his grandmother to a fortune-teller several years ago. His mother, Jackie, recalled the story this week as she reflected on the early life of the young First Division star.

“My mother was told by a fortune-teller that one of her grandsons would make a name for himself.”

“At first I thought it might be his older brother Mark, who seemed to be able to put his mind to almost anything, but it’s proved to be Peter who has hit the headlines.”

It was in last year’s FA Cup Final that Peter emerged as a household name with an outstanding performance in the 1-1 draw with Tottenham. His mother was at Wembley seeing him in action for the first and only time.

“I have never liked football,” she admits, “but I was persuaded to go to the Cup Final by the rest of the family. As it turned out, I didn’t see much of the game at all because I had my eyes closed most of the time in case Peter was injured!”

Although Peter was something of an academic at the East Ham Comprehensive School – he gained six ‘O’ levels – he only had one career in mind – professional football.

As his mother recalls: “The careers master at school tried to talk him out of it in favour of another career, but Peter refused to listen and he was always confident he would make the grade.”

“I didn’t know whether he would make it or not, although people kept telling me he was a good goalkeeper.”

“But I know he became very depressed and frustrated when he kept being overlooked at Rangers. Just when it seemed as though he would get his chance, they would bring in another keeper.”

“I think it was only his personality and single-mindedness that kept him going before he got his big break two seasons ago.”

Although something of a loner as a boy, Peter had a sense of humour, which Mum often found to her cost.

“He would often leave scribbled notes dotted around the house. Sometimes there would be one under my dinner plate or under his pillow asking for a new pair of football boots.”

Apparently Peter also had a craving for money. “He used to open up his money box and count his cash every night. He would ask me for odd jobs so that he could boost his money, but we refused to allow him to get a part-time job,” she says.

“However, he did get one job behind our backs. One day when we returned from holiday we caught him delivering newspapers from the back of a van. We soon put a stop to that.”

“Apart from playing football for the school and the county, he also turned out on a Sunday for the local Tate and Lyle team who were transported around in the nine-seater family car by father Jim.”

Several of Peter’s team-mates in the Newham and District Boys side have also made the grade, including Crystal Palace’s Henry Hughton, brother of Tottenham’s Eire international full-back Chris, Portsmouth striker Nicky Morgan and Notts County winger John Chiedozie.’

Peter made his 1st team debut against Shrewsbury Town on 2nd May 1981 and went on to make 188 appearances for the R’s. He was transferred to Oxford United in February 1987.

Steve Russell