Peter Bircumshaw was born in Robin Hood's 'country' at Mansfield, Notts on August 29th, 1938. A left winger, Peter began his playing career with the Mansfield Schoolboys XI and won a place in the Nottingham County Schoolboys side. In these games he showed good promise and was signed by Notts County at the age of sixteen.
His first game for Notts County was in the F.A. Cup against Rhyl and although his side lost 3-1 to the non league club it did not stop his progress with Notts County and before long Peter made himself a regular first team choice. He stayed with Notts County at Meadow Lane for 9 years and during this period of time made getting on for 300 League and Cup games for the Club and collected a total of 130 goals from both the left wing and centre forward positions. For four consecutive years he was the Notts County second leading goalscorer and in the season when they won promotion from the Fourth to Third Division, Peter scored 28 league goals.
During his stay at Notts County, West Bromwich Albion popped up with a £17,500 transfer offer for Peter's services but this was turned down. For seven of his nine seasons at Notts County, Peter played up front with Frank Cruickshank who later managed Cambridge City.
From Notts County Peter moved to Bradford City in June 1962, for whom he scored 7 league goals in 27 appearances. In June 1963 he left for Stockport County. His stay at Stockport was a short one, having scored league goals in 17 appearances, he was signed by the new City Boss, Frank Cruickshank, midway through the 1963-64 season. The following season saw Peter become the Club's regular left winger.
Peter's younger brother, Tony was also a professional footballer and as a full back played 148 league matches for Notts County and 180 for Hartlepool.