Peter Barr Cormack (born July 17, 1946) is a Scottish former professional footballer and football manager who reached his peak as a player in the first great Liverpool side of the 1970s.
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Cormack was a skilful midfield player who began his career in his with Hibernian, who he joined in 1962 having previously been on the groundstaff at local rivals Heart of Midlothian while playing for Tynecastle Boys Club. In March 1970, after scoring 75 times in 182 games for Hibs, Cormack joined Dave Mackay’s and Matt Gillies’ Nottingham Forest, costing Forest £80,000. In his 2 seasons at the City Ground he scored 15 times in 74 league games for Forest, 20 in 86 overall. Unfortunately, for Cormack and Forest they were relegated from the top flight in 1972, they finished bottom of the pile on the same amount of points as Huddersfield Town, 25, but with an inferior goal difference.
Whilst at Hibs, Cormack caught the eye of John Prentice who was then manager of the Scottish national side, Prentice awarded Cormack his first cap on the 25 June 1966 in a prestigeous friendly with Brazil at Hampden Park, Brazil were warming up in readiness to play in the ’66 World Cup which was to be held South of the border in England. Cormack’s debut was certainly a memorable occasion as the Scots held the reigning World Champions to a 1-1 draw.
Cormack was signed by Liverpool manager Bill Shankly in July 1972 for a fee of £110,000. He made his Reds debut on the 2 September 1972 in a league fixture at the Baseball Ground. It was not a dream start for Cormack as Liverpool lost 2-1 to hosts Derby County. Cormack did not have to wait long for his first goal however; it came the following week on the 9th at Anfield, Wolverhampton Wanderers were the visitors who beaten in a thrilling match 4-2, with the Reds scoring 3 times in the last 14 minutes beginning with Peter’s goal in the 76th, a Tommy Smith penalty (80th) and a Kevin Keegan strike (84th) snatched both the points for Liverpool this after Emlyn Hughes had scored in the 28th minute.
He was an integral part of Liverpool’s midfield as the Anfield club won their first trophies of the 1970s – a League championship and UEFA Cup double by the end of his first season for the in 1973, this was a far cry from the heartbreak of relegation with Forest he had suffered just 12 months earlier. He had more silverware to celebrate by the end of the following season adding an FA Cup winners’ medal to his growing haul, he was part of the team which destroyed Newcastle United at Wembley in 1974.
In 1976, Liverpool completed another League and UEFA Cup double. Unfortunately an injury to Cormack in October led to him missing the rest of the season including the UEFA Cup final, the conversion of Ray Kennedy from striker to midfieldby Bob Paisley had dire consequences for Cormack, Kennedy shone in his new role going on to represent England in the position. Now fit again, Cormack could not dislodge the elegant Kennedy to regain his place in the first team, he had become surplus to requirements. In the November of 1976 Cormack swapped Anfield for Ashton Gate joining Alan Dicks’ Bristol City for £50,000.
Although not challenging for major honours, Cormack enjoyed yet another cup win, this time it was the Anglo-Scottish Cup in 1978, City met St Mirren in the two-legged final, the first leg was at Love Street with City beating their hosts 2-1 with Cormack scoring the winner, the Saints could not beat City at Ashton Gate only managing a 1-1 draw, the draw meant that City’s narrow victory in Scotland was enough to earn them a 3-2 aggregate win and, of course, the trophy.
After four years in Bristol, Cormack returned briefly to hometown club Hibernian, finishing his playing career with Partick Thistle where he became manager in 1980. He later took coaching roles in Cyprus and Botswana, including managing the Botswana national side, before returning to Hibernian as assistant manager under Alex Miller.
In December 2000 he had ten days as manager of Cowdenbeath, where he sacked without the side playing a game. He also managed Greenock Morton between July 2001 and March 2002.