A welcome visitor at the new Linfield offices in the Railway Stand at Windsor Park today was John Peden, the grand-son of the former Linfield and Manchester United player who played in the very first Linfield team 130 years ago.
As revealed on Linfieldfc.com over the weekend John and other family members will be special and appropriate guests at Windsor Park for Saturday's home game against Glentoran, as Linfield marks the 130th anniversary of the formation of the club.
John is pictured below visiting the final resting place of his famous grandfather today.
Two years ago MUTV produced a programme "The Green Devils" which featured the Irishmen who played for the famous Old Trafford club. John Peden was of course the first Irishman to play for the famous Old Trafford club and he was featured in the programme along with George Best, Norman Whiteside, Jimmy Nicholl, Sammy McIlroy and all the others.
The following is an extract from a longer article first published on Linfieldfc.com on 19 March 2014.
John Peden was born on July 20, 1863 near the Maze racecourse. He lived at addresses in Sandy Row (Schomberg St). His mother Eliza died in 1927 and his father James died in 1923. His younger brother Richard was also a Linfield player who was born in 1873 and who died in 1940. His other brother James who was a musician died in 1932. Another brother Sam moved to Canada.
He was married to Minnie in St. Enoch's church on December 27, 1893. They celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1943. He ran a confectionary shop "The Forward" at 150 Sandy Row. His son John was born in 1897. His daughter Marion was born early in 1895 and she emigrated to Canada in 1916. Twin daughters Margaret and Sadie were born in late 1894, although Sadie died sadly 2 years later. A still born daughter was buried in 1902.
His son John, known as Jack, played for Glentoran. He was the first captain of Ards and won 2 amateur caps for Ireland. He was later awarded life membership of Glentoran.
John Peden started his football career with Clarence FC, Prospect FC, Distillery 2nds and Innisfail FC.
He played in the very first Linfield team - from 1886 until 1893. His debut was on September 11, 1886 and he was also a Committee member at that time.
In 1893 he was transferred to Newton Heath who later became known as Manchester United. He made 32 appearances for Newton Heath scoring 8 goals. In 1894/95 season he was with Sheffield United and while there, he scored 2 goals against Linfield in a friendly in Sheffield. For season 1895/96 he signed for Distillery with whom he won an Irish Cup medal in 1896.
He returned to Linfield in 1898 and played until 1905.
The late David Crawford describes Peden who was nicknamed "Float" as "A Great Linfield Player".
Peden who was an outside left, made a total of 209 Linfield Appearances, scoring 144 goals.
He won 24 Irish international caps between 1887 and 1903. He also played in the first Inter league game against the Scottish League in 1893 and in total he won 4 inter league caps between 1893 and 1899.
With Linfield he won the following honours
3 Irish League Championship medals in succession - 1890/91, 1891/92 and 1892/93
He was also a member of the 1890/91 Double winning team
He won 4 Irish Cup winners medals - 1891, 1893, 1899 and 1902
He won a County Antrim Shield winners medal in 1899
He won 3 Charity Cup medals - 1890/91, 1891/92 and 1892/93
He played against Bolton in the FA Cup, scoring 2 goals and he also played for Linfield against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup, scoring a further 2 goals.
He was a member of the Club's Management Committee between 1905 and 1912. He even played in a 2-0 defeat by Distillery on April 15, 1905 while a member of the management committee. He was a member of the Team Committee in 1905/06. He was suspended by the IFA in 1912 and he was re elected to the Linfield management committee in 1913 until he was defeated at the club's AGM in 1925.
He was elected an Honorary Life Member of Linfield in 1934.
He died in his 81st year on Friday September 15, 1944 and was buried in Belfast.