Mexborough-born Peter Kitchen made a sensational start to his Doncaster Rovers career when he scored in the opening minutes of his Football League debut at Shrewsbury in November 1970. The young striker then repeated the feat on his home debut against Swansea City a week later, and a star seemed to be born. However, it took some time for “Kitch” to establish himself as the rightful owner of the Rovers No.10 shirt. It was not until 1973-4, when he struck up a partnership with another young striker, Brendan O’Callaghan, that he began to realise his true potential. He scored his first hat-trick in a 4-3 win over Notts. County in the League Cup in August 1973, but it was a storming performance and a goal in a famous 2-2 FA Cup draw against Liverpool at Anfield in January 1974 that made his reputation. He finished 1973-74 with 15 goals in all competitions and the following season, 1974-5, saw him notch over 20 League goals for the first time.
He followed that up with 23 League goals in both 1975-76 and 1976-77, and he remains the last player to score 20 or more League goals in three successive seasons. He was a key member of the Rovers side that reached the Fifth Round of the League Cup in 1975-76 and scored in the final match of the run at Tottenham. In June 1977 Second Division Leyton Orient paid around £50,000 to secure his services and Kitchen left Belle Vue with a record of 106 goals in senior football. He proved his ability to perform at a higher level as he scored a total of 29 goals for Orient in 1977-78, helping them to the FA Cup semi-finals and ensuring that he is as popular at Brisbane Road as at Belle Vue. A move to big-spending Fulham in 1979 did not work out for him, but he moved on to Cardiff City and then back to Orient and the goals continued to flow. After spells in Hong Kong, Kitchen finished off his career at Dagenham, Chester City and finally Margate. He remains a keen supporter of both Rovers and Leyton Orient and often attends Rovers games in southern England.
Rovers Debut: 27th November 1970, Division Four vs. Shrewsbury Town (away) Won 3-0.
Final game: 30th April 1977, Division Four vs. Crewe Alexandra (away) Won 2-1.
Rovers Career: Football League: 256 appearances, 90 goals. All senior games: 228 appearances, 106 goals