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The Forgotten Story of … Peter Short, US soccer’s original English import

The central defender was a fierce competitor but his life was to be cut tragically short

Peter Short broke his nose early in his football career and decided against fixing it. Instead, he used it as a badge of courage and as a reminder to opposing forwards and defenders that he was not afraid of butting his head into places where it did not belong.

It was a striking look, but Short was a striking figure. He once ate the ref’s red card after he was sent off, and long before David Beckham became US’s soccer’s quintessential Englishman, the Liverpool-born Short was one of the best center-backs in the original incarnation of the North American Soccer League. Such was his commitment to soccer in the US that he would travel from Canada every week to play games. His life would also end tragically early.

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