It’s hard to believe but fifty years ago this week, 23-year-old Peter Cormack left Hibs and signed for Nottingham Forest in the English top-flight for a reported fee of £80,000.
Peter was one of the finest players of his generation and his departure was greeted with despair from the Easter Road faithful who questioned the ambition of the club following the earlier sales of Colin Stein to Rangers and Peter Marinello to Arsenal.
Slight of build but with the heart of a lion, Peter had everything required to reach the top of the game. Despite his size he was outstanding in the air and had a superb first touch coupled with a fine football brain.
A product of Tynecastle Boys Club, Peter was signed by Hearts directly from school and became the first ground staff boy at Tynecastle since the great Tommy Walker in the 1930’s however a dispute resulted in him leaving Gorgie.
He was immediately snapped up by Hibs and a series of impressive performances for the reserves earned him quick promotion and he made a goal scoring debut against Airdrie in November 1962.
It would be the first of almost 100 goals he would score as a member of the tremendous Hibs side of the late 1960s which included the opener in a 2-0 victory over Real Madrid in a glamour friendly at Easter Road in 1964.
Two years later he made his full Scotland debut in a friendly against the reigning World Champions Brazil including the great Pele, in a friendly at Hampden in 1966.
He also played a significant role in Hibs’ never to be forgotten 5-0 victory over Napoli, scoring an important goal.
After almost 300 appearances at Easter Road, in 1970 Peter moved to Nottingham Forest spending just over two years at the City Ground where he became a great favourite with the fans.
He later joining the great Liverpool side of the 1970s and at Anfield he would come into his own, winning two Championships, two UEFA Cups and an FA Cup.
Legendry manager Bill Shankly described him as one of his all-time Liverpool greats.
Peter was in the Scotland Squad for the 1974 World Cup in West Germany but incredibly did not start a game under Willie Ormond.
A spell with Bristol City followed before in February 1980 Cormack made a return to Easter Road where he would line up alongside George Best.
A move to Partick Thistle followed, eventually taking over as manager of the Firhill side. He also had spells managing in Cyprus and Botswana before returning yet again to Easter Road as assistant to manager Alex Miller, retiring from the game in 2002 after spells managing Cowdenbeath and Morton and Gala Fairydean.
Peter remains a ‘weel kent’ face around the stadium where he is always guaranteed a warm welcome from the fans.