Tributes to 'perfect gentleman' former Chesterfield pub landlord and Sheffield Wednesday legend
A former Chesterfield pub landlord and Sheffield Wednesday legend known for his ‘old school manners’ and ‘cracking personality’ has passed away.
Peter Swan, who made 275 league appearances for the Owls between 1953 and 1973, and also played 19 times for England, died at Chesterfield Royal Hospital on January 21 after a battle with dementia.
He was a landlord at three pubs in the Chesterfield area and his family say he became a popular figure who everyone ‘looked after as if he was part of their family’.
Peter’s son, Peter Swan Jnr, said: “I can’t thank the people of this area enough for how they looked after my dad when he became ill with dementia.
"He would go for a walk and I’d get constant phone calls saying ‘I’ve seen your dad’ here or there.
"I think people did that because they were so fond of him. He really did have a cracking personality.”
Originally from South Elmsall, West Yorkshire, Peter’s footballing career took him to Doncaster and then Sheffield after signing for Wednesday.
A centre-half, Peter was a key part of Wednesday’s renaissance in the late 1950s and early 1960s, with the club finishing as runners-up only to the great Tottenham Hotspur side in the 1960/61 season.
All 19 of his England caps were earned in that time, between 1960 and 1962, including helping the Three Lions qualify for the 1962 World Cup in Chile.
Illness cost him the chance to play in the tournament, however, with Bobby Moore effectively taking his place. Following a club match he swapped shirts with Brazil legend Pele.
After retiring from football, Peter became a pub landlord at three different venues in the Chesterfield area: St Helen’s Inn, on Sheffield Road, and the Three Horseshoes and The Mill in Brimington.
Peter Jnr took over from his dad after the latter became unwell with dementia. Peter Snr lost his wife Norma in 2007, aged 71.
"He was a very funny man and always had plenty of jokes to tell,” Peter Jnr said.
"He was also always polite and well turned out in a shirt and tie. He had old school manners and people loved dad because of that.
"He was a perfect gentleman. As a family we’ve been overwhelmed by the response to his passing away.”