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Peter Mendham

Norwich Career: 1976-1987 (267 appearances, 29 goals)
Current Club: Retired
Date of Birth: 09/04/1960
Nationality: English


Peter Mendham was a loyal servant to Norwich City for over 20 years. Indeed Ken Brown was to state "If you cut him open his blood would flow yellow and green".

Spotted by Norwich scouts in a school match between Norwich and Ipswich, Peter joined Norwich at the age of 15 and played for the Norwich City schoolboy and youth sides before signing as an apprentice on 30th June 1976. He turned professional in April 1978 and made his first team debut five months later as substitute against Derby County on 30th September 1978. Until his retirement in April 1987 as a result of a pelvic injury, he played 267 first team matches for the Canaries scoring 29 goals. During this time, he won a Milk Cup winners medal and a Second Division Championship medal. His loyalty to the club was shown in other ways, often acting as the club's representative. This was rewarded with a position as the club's Football in the Community Officer which liases with schools across Norfolk. The latter days of Robert Chase's chairmanship contained many unsavory moments. One of the most despicable was Peter's sacking from the aforementioned post. Officially this was due to a lack of funds in the club's coffers but rumours have it that Peter spoke out against the terrible state that the club was falling into.

After his retirement in 1987, Peter continued to play amateur football. He was manager of King's Lynn from June 1987 to November 1987, having gained managerial experience as player coach for New Zealand side Mirimar in the summer of 1981. He continued to play for King's Lynn until June 1988 when he joined Watton Town as player coach. Attempts to restart his career in Sweden with Hammarby and in Holland with NAC Breda both failed. He joined Diss town in June 1991 then moved to Wroxham in November 1992. Bill Punton reclaimed him for Diss in September 1993 which was an intelligent move as Peter scored the winning goal in extra-time against Taunton Town in the FA Vase final at Wembley in May 1994. Brief spells were also spent with North Walsham and Norwich United.

He rejoined Wroxham to play alongside fellow ex-Canaries Jon Rigby, Mark Crowe, Darren Gill and Scott Snowling. . At the end of 1997, Peter retired from playing. However the lure of the game was too much for him and he resumed playing for Wroxham at the end of March 1998. His return marked an improvement in Wroxham's game as they won the first six games in which he played and Wroxham won the Jewson Eastern Counties League again. Mike Davage revealed in his "Canaries Flown From The Nest" article in the 1998/99 club handbook that the club has recognised Peter's loyalty by re-employing him to work in a coaching capacity with the youngsters.

The Eastern Daily Press reported on July 3rd 1999 that Peter had rejoined Watton United who had made a number of signing including Neil Pope (Peterborough), Martin Pammenter (Soham), Gary Chandler and Steve McKenna (both Histon), Frank Atkins (Ely), Spencer Clay (Attleborough) and Andrew Taylor (Colchester United and whom possibly played for Norwich City Youths in early 1999). The Pink Un later reported on 13th November 1999 that Peter had signed for Anglian Combination side Attleborough even though Peter was fast approaching his 40th birthday. Since October 2000, he has been playing for Red Roofs according to the 2001 edition of Canary Citizens

Peter currently works for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, primarily in a fund raising role.

Peter had a traumatic 2006. In July 2006, he was given a year-long driving ban after being found guilty of drink-driving. Matters worsened when on 18th October 2006, he was arrested for the attempted murder of his girlfriend Charlotte Hyam who had been stabbed at Peter's home in Trowse. He pleaded guilty to wounding with intent when he appeared in court in Janaury 2007. An alternative charge of attempted murder which he denies was ordered to lie on file. At the end of Febraury 2007, Mendham was jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

Mendham hit the headlines in late March 2009 when it was revealed that Mendham had been let out of prison (HM Hollesey Bay) to play football for village team Sproughton Sports, who have teams in divisions four and six of the Metalec Suffolk and Ipswich Football League (SIL). League trustee Peter Cocker, who is an ex-chairman and been associated with the league for 40 years, said he sees no problem with Mendham's involvement.He said: “I have no problem with him being registered with our league. The prison will ensure that he will be no problem.If he is on day release he will have someone with him or be wearing a tag. Ipswich Town had a player - Gary Croft - who played while wearing a tag from Hollesley.Hollesley Bay used to run a side in our league, and there were no problems, and if they wanted to enter a team again I would not see any problem. It would be no different in many ways to when a side from HMS Ganges played in our league as they came from a 'closed' camp - with Hollesley having an open prison.”

Released from prison in 2010, he was appointed Assistant Manager at non-league Newmarket Town on 7th December 2011 but quit two days later due to press intrusion. Newmarket manager Kvein Grainger said he was told of the news by email and explained that the 51-year-old Mendham – a Milk Cup winner with Norwich City in 1985 – did not want the intrusion into his past affecting his family, who still reside in Norwich. “Peter was looking to get back into football and I was looking for a new coach, so it was a perfect fit. However, from his point of view, he feels he has been hassled by the press about his past and he no longer feels he can take the position up. He still has family in Norwich and obviously he does not want the intrusion into his life about what happened in the past. It is a massive shame for us because we were looking forward to his involvement with the club. It is gutting really for everyone involved, but maybe in the future we still look to trying to work something out. Sometimes things do not always work out in football and it is a shame.”

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