In this perm, Wardy hit ten goals to help fire Albion into the top flight and then another sixteen to help keep Brighton amongst the elite. In Scoop Magazine, from 12 July 1980, it says:
Although he’s a hero down Brighton way, life hasn’t always been easy at the Goldstone Ground for star striker Peter Ward.
He was on the transfer list last summer and again in the autumn.
But when Brian Clough failed to whisk the talented star away to Nottingham Forest, it triggered off a South Coast revival!
Peter sat down and had a long chat with his manager, Alan Mullery, and sorted out a lot of problems. He felt much happier after that and it showed in his big match performances.
“I had a very good Christmas,” Peter smiled. “First there was my first hat-trick in Division One against Wolves. Then I scored again on Boxing Day, when we beat our old rivals, Crystal Palace. Those results obviously helped everyone at the club and we went on to hold our First Division place last season quite comfortably.”
Sadly, in the summer of 1980, Ward ill-fatedly grew a moustache to add to the perm. Not sure why – perhaps the additional weight – but he was never the same again. He scored just one League goal in eleven games at the start of the 1980/81 season before signing for Brian Clough, where again he was far from prolific. Ward did rejoin the Albion on loan in 1982/83 and his two League goals in 16 League matches barely hinted at what kind of player he was in the late 1970s. Goldstone regulars spoke of how his movement was not what it was.
Some players are weighed down by their big transfer fee. Ward may well fit into the rare category of star players weighed down by their ‘taches.
Mine eyes have seen the glory … What a player he was and what days they were. Billy Whizz. Marvellous.