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Preston north end

Preston North End
Full name Preston North End Football Club
Nickname(s) The Lilywhites, PNE, The Whites, Preston, "The Invincibles"
Founded 1863;  (1863) [1]
Ground Deepdale,
Preston, England
Ground Capacity 23,408
Owner Trevor Hemmings
Chairman Peter Ridsdale[2]
Manager Simon Grayson [3]
League League One
2012–13 League One, 14th
Website Club home page
Home colours
Away colours
Third colours
Current season

Preston North End Football Club (often shortened to PNE) is an English football club located in the Deepdale area of Preston, Lancashire. They currently play in League One, the third tier of the English football league system.

Preston North End were founding members of the Football League and completed the inaugural season unbeaten to become the first league champions, in the same season winning the FA Cup without conceding a goal to become the first club to achieve the English football "Double".

Preston's unbeaten League and Cup season earned them the nickname "The Invincibles", and remains a feat unequalled in English professional football.

Preston's most recent major trophy success was their FA Cup victory over Huddersfield Town F.C. in 1938.

Many important players have played for the club over the years, including Tom Finney, Bill Shankly, Tommy Docherty, Alan Kelly, Sr. and Graham Alexander.

Based on results achieved during 112 seasons in the Football League from 1888–89 to 2010–11, Preston were ranked as the fourth most-successful English football club of all time domestically, while only Notts County had played more Football League games than Preston.[4]


Preston North End were originally founded as a cricket club in 1863, adopting the "North End" suffix because they were located in the north end of the town, playing their matches at Moor Park. The club adopted rugby union code in 1877, but one year later they played their first game under the rules of association football.[1]

Preston North End were famously successful during the early years of professional football in England. In 1887, Preston beat Hyde 26–0 in the First Round of the FA Cup, still a record winning margin in English first-class football. Preston forward Jimmy Ross scored eight goals in the match, going on to score 19 goals in the competition that season, also still a record.[5]

In 1888–89, they became the first league champions and the first winners of "The Double", becoming the only team to date to go throughout an entire season unbeaten in both the league and FA Cup – winning the FA Cup without conceding a goal.[6]

Preston were league champions again the following season, but have not won the title since. The club's last major trophy was an FA Cup triumph in 1938.

Preston's most famous player, Sir Tom Finney, played for the club between 1946 and 1960. Finney is considered to be one of the greatest footballers of all time, and was also a local lad, dubbed the "Preston Plumber" due to his professional training as a plumber. Finney remains the club's top goalscorer, with 187 goals from 433 appearances, and also scored 30 international goals for England.

Following Finney's retirement, Preston were relegated to the Second Division in 1961 and have not played in the top division since. The club did reach the FA Cup final in 1964, but lost to West Ham United. Preston were relegated to the Third Division in the 1969–70 season. The club won the Third Division title at the first attempt and so returned to the Second Division.

Bobby Charlton, an England World Cup winner from 1966, was appointed Preston manager in 1973, but was unable to prevent the club from sliding into the Third Division in his first season and left after two years in charge. A brief respite in 1978 saw Preston win promotion back to the Second Division, but go down after three seasons. In 1985 the club fell into the Fourth Division for the first time in its history.

In 1986, Preston finished second from bottom in the Fourth Division and only avoided dropping into the Football Conference because the other Football League members voted in favour of the division's bottom four teams retaining their senior status.

The arrival of new manager John McGrath saw Preston win promotion to the Third Division a year later and they were still at this level when McGrath left in 1990. Veteran player Les Chapman took over as manager, but left in October 1992 to be replaced by John Beck. The 38-year-old Beck had only recently been sacked by Cambridge United, where he had achieved two successive promotions and come close to attaining a unique third. Beck was unable to save Preston from relegation from the first season of the new Division Two. He endured a Division Three play-off final failure before quitting in 1994 to be replaced by his assistant Gary Peters.

Peters guided Preston to Division Three title glory in his first full season as manager and quit in February 1998, to be replaced by 34-year-old defender David Moyes. Preston quickly developed into Division Two promotion contenders under Moyes, reaching the 1998–99 play-offs but losing out to Gillingham in the semi-finals, before finally being promoted as champions a year later.


Preston began the new millennium by winning promotion from Division 2 in the 1999–2000 season as champions. The club almost made it two promotions a row in 2001 but lost 3–0 to Bolton Wanderers in the Division One play-off final.

Moyes left for Everton in March 2002 and his assistant Kelham O'Hanlon took over for the remainder of the season. Preston narrowly missed out on the play-offs, and in the summer former Scotland manager Craig Brown took over as manager. Preston were little more than a mid-table side during Brown's tenure, though never in any real danger of being relegated. He left in August 2004 to be succeeded by his assistant Billy Davies.

Davies guided Preston to the Championship playoff final in his first season as manager, but they lost to West Ham United. The club reached the play-offs again the following year, this time losing at the semi-final stage to Leeds United. Davies then moved to Derby County (subsequently achieving promotion with them via the play-offs), and was replaced by Carlisle United boss Paul Simpson, who took over Davies's team and initially carried on where Davies left off.

Preston spent much of the 2006–07 season in the automatic promotion or play-off places. However, from March 2007 the club slid rapidly down the league. This happened despite holding on to David Nugent in the transfer window and Simpson being allowed to bring in a number of loan signings. The club failed to make the end-of-season play-offs, finishing the season in seventh place, despite a 1–0 victory over Birmingham City at Deepdale on the final day of the season.

On 11 July 2007, Nugent, the first Preston player to win an England cap for 50 years, left the club to join Portsmouth for a reported transfer fee of £6,000,000. Although the club lost only one key player and brought in several players including Darren Carter, Kevin Nicholls and Karl Hawley to reshape the team, they did not recover from their poor run of form.

In August 2007, Simpson banned the playing of Elvis Presley's Can't Help Falling in Love before games, a song which had been a popular part of the pre-match music at Deepdale for over ten years, stating, "I don't know whose idea this song is at the start, because it seems to put everyone in a bit of a depression. We have to make sure we get something which the players respond to and go out and perform and the fans respond to as well. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we are losing games because of that song. But we have to do whatever we can to generate an atmosphere",[7] a move which angered some Preston fans.[8]

After a bad start to the 2007–08 season which saw the club pick up just three wins, Paul Simpson was sacked as manager on 13 November 2007.

On 20 November, Everton's assistant manager Alan Irvine was appointed as Preston's new manager on a three-and-a-half year deal. He achieved his first objective as manager by finishing in 15th place, thus securing Preston's survival in the Championship.

The following season, he led Preston to 6th place in the Championship after a good run of form towards the end of the season, qualifying for the play-offs. The club again missed out on promotion to the Premier League after losing 2–1 on aggregate to Sheffield United.

On 29 December 2008, Irvine was sacked after a poor run of results, with the club appointing Darren Ferguson as his successor on 6 January 2009. Ferguson made his home debut in a 2–0 loss to Chelsea in the fourth round of the FA Cup. However, Preston won their next two games, beating Ferguson's old club Peterborough United 1–0 and Ipswich Town 2–0. This was followed by a run of poor results and Preston were soon in danger of relegation, but a 3–2 home victory against Scunthorpe United secured their survival in the Championship.

In the 2009–10 season, Preston finished in 17th place. On 28 September 2010, Preston North End became the first away team to score six goals at Elland Road. Trailing 4–2 at half time, Preston made a sensational second-half comeback to win the match 6–4,[9] with Jon Parkin scoring his second hat-trick of 2010 (the first being in the 7–0 thrashing of Colchester in the F.A. Cup Third Round on 2 January 2010[10]), but his first league hat-trick in over 5 years. On 29 December 2010 Darren Ferguson was sacked following a 1–3 home defeat to relegation rivals Middlesbrough, leaving the club bottom of the Championship.

Former Hull City manager Phil Brown was appointed as Ferguson's replacement, but could only achieve his first win in his 13th game in charge. This sparked an improved run of form, but could not prevent relegation to League One, confirmed by a 0–1 home defeat to Cardiff City in April.[11] The relegation was marked by the traditional Burial of the Coffin in Bamber Bridge on the 24 July 2011.

Brown was sacked on 14 December 2011 after less than a year in charge, being temporarily replaced by Graham Alexander and David Unsworth.[12] After four weeks of interviews, Preston approached Stevenage manager Graham Westley and he was appointed manager on Friday 13 January 2012.[13] Following a poor string of results, including a club record run of 12 home games without a win,[14] Westley was sacked as Preston manager on 13 February 2013.[15]

On 18 February 2013, it was confirmed that Simon Grayson had taken charge of Preston, to be joined at the club by Glynn Snodin, who had worked alongside Grayson at both Leeds United and Huddersfield Town.[16]


Main article: Deepdale
Full name Deepdale Stadium
Location Sir Tom Finney Way, Preston, England, PR1 6RU

53°46′20″N 2°41′17″W / 53.77222°N 2.68806°W / 53.77222; -2.68806Coordinates: 53°46′20″N 2°41′17″W / 53.77222°N 2.68806°W / 53.77222; -2.68806

Built 1875[dubious ]
Opened 1875 (for PNE)
Owner Preston North End F.C.
Operator Preston North End F.C.
Capacity 23,404[17]
Field dimensions 110 x 75 yards[18]
Preston North End F.C. (1878–present)
Lancashire Lynx (1996–2000)

Deepdale Stadium was built in 1875 and was first used for association football in 1878. As of 2012 it has been used for 136 years. The biggest attendance seen was 42,684 for a Division One clash with Arsenal in April 1938.[18]

In 1933, the Town End burnt down and was demolished and rebuilt. The stadium now holds a capacity of 23,404 seats, following a complete reconstruction between 1996 and 2009.[17] The current pitch dimensions are 110 yards x 75 yards.[18]


The stadium was chosen as the location for the National Football Museum due to the club being the first-ever winners of The Football League, thereby recognising Preston as the first home of English football. Having been one of the largest football museums in the world when it closed in 2010, it was moved to Urbis in Manchester 2012.


Outside the Sir Tom Finney Stand, is a statue of the famous player himself, this is known as The Splash or the Tom Finney Splash.

The statue, unveiled in July 2004, was inspired by a photo taken at the Chelsea versus PNE game played at Stamford Bridge, in 1956.

The match took place on a rainy day, with Preston playing Chelsea and players generally sliding everywhere.

The statue was sculpted by Peter Hodgkinson.

Play-off defeats

Preston have made the play-offs in a record eight seasons, spanning all three league divisions, but have not yet been promoted via this route. Preston's first appearance in the play-offs was in 1989 when they were beaten in the third tier (now League One) play-off semi-final by Port Vale.

In the fourth tier (now League Two), Preston lost in the 1994 final to Wycombe Wanderers 4–2 at the original Wembley stadium, after beating Torquay United in the semi-finals. A year later they were beaten by Bury at the semi-final stage.

Preston's next play-off appearance was in the third tier in 1999, where they were beaten by Gillingham in the semi-finals. After promotion to the First Division (now the Championship) in 1999/2000, Preston reached the play-offs in their first season, beating Birmingham City in the semi-final on penalties before being defeated by Bolton Wanderers in the final, the first to be held at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Preston reached the play-offs again in 2005, overcoming Derby County in the semi-finals to once more reach the final in Cardiff, where they were defeated by West Ham United. The following season, they were again beaten in the play-offs, this time at the semi-final stage against Leeds United.

Preston qualified for their most recent play-off campaign on 3 May 2009, narrowly overtaking Cardiff City on the last day of the season, with points and goal difference identical between the two teams, but with Preston having scored one more goal. Preston would again lose at the semi-final stage, this time to Sheffield United.


As of 25 September 2013.

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Germany GK Thorsten Stuckmann
2 Republic of Ireland DF Keith Keane (captain)
3 England DF Scott Laird
4 England DF Paul Huntington
5 England DF Tom Clarke
6 Australia DF Bailey Wright
7 Jamaica MF Chris Humphrey
9 England FW Kevin Davies
10 England FW Stuart Beavon
11 England MF Lee Holmes
12 Scotland FW Paul Gallagher (on loan from Leicester City)
13 England MF Joel Byrom
No. Position Player
14 England FW Joe Garner
16 Northern Ireland DF David Buchanan
19 England MF John Welsh
21 England MF John Mousinho
22 England MF Jack King
23 England GK Declan Rudd (on loan from Norwich City)
24 Republic of Ireland MF Will Hayhurst
25 England MF Ryan Croasdale
27 Canada FW Iain Hume
28 Wales DF Alex Nicholson
30 England MF Josh Brownhill

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
8 England MF Nicky Wroe (at Shrewsbury Town until 1 December 2013)
15 Republic of Ireland FW Graham Cummins (at Rochdale until 2 January 2014)
17 England MF Jeffrey Monakana (at Colchester United until 12 December 2013)
18 Australia DF Shane Cansdell-Sherriff (at Burton Albion until 29 December 2013)
20 England DF Ben Davies (at York City until 2 January 2014)
26 England GK Steven James (at Bamber Bridge until 11 November 2013)
29 England FW Chris Beardsley (at Bristol Rovers until 29 November 2013)

Former players

Main article: List of Preston North End F.C. players

Technical staff

Below is a list of non-playing personnel:[19]

Name Role
Simon Grayson Manager
Glynn Snodin Assistant Manager
John Dreyer First Team Coach
Matt Jackson Head Physio
Matt Barrass Assistant Physio
John Sumner Club Massuer
Nick Harrison Assistant Youth Director
Jim McCluskie Chief Youth Scout

Managerial history

Main article: List of Preston North End F.C. managers
As of 3 November 2013

The following is a list of Preston North End managers since 1986, excluding caretakers:[20][21]

Manager Nationality Period G W D L Win % Point Av.
John McGrath  England 1986–1990 192 74 53 65 38.54 1.43
Les Chapman  England 1990–1992 91 32 19 40 35.16 1.26
John Beck  England 1992–1994 99 36 20 43 36.36 1.29
Gary Peters  England 1994–1998 159 72 41 46 45.28 1.61
David Moyes  Scotland 1998–2002 234 113 58 63 48.29 1.70
Craig Brown  Scotland 2002–2004 106 36 30 40 33.96 1.30
Billy Davies  Scotland 2004–2006 101 45 35 21 45.55 1.68
Paul Simpson  England 2006–2007 58 25 10 23 43.10 1.46
Alan Irvine  Scotland 2007–2009 111 45 26 40 40.54 1.45
Darren Ferguson  Scotland 2010 49 13 11 25 26.53 1.02
Phil Brown  England 2011 51 15 15 21 29.41 1.18
Graham Westley  England 2012–2013 62 16 23 23 25.81 1.04
Simon Grayson  England 2013– 31 13 11 7 41.94 1.61



  • Football League Fourth Division/Football League Third Division/League 2 (fourth tier)[22]



In 1996, its Third Division title glory made Preston North End the third and last team to have been champions of all four professional leagues in English football. This feat had previously been achieved only by Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1988 and local rivals Burnley in 1992.

Club records


Over the years, the club's main sponsors have included many local companies, as well as a few national ones. These have included:[27]

Years Sponsor(s)
1979–1984 Pontins
1984–1985 David Leil
1985–1986 Lombard Continental
1986–1990 Garratt's Insurance
1990–1992 Ribble Valley Shelving
1992–1995 Coloroll
1995–2002 Baxi
2002–2005 NewReg
2005–2010 Enterprise
2010–2012 Tennents
2012–2013 Magners
2013–present The Football Pools

For the current 2013–14 season, the club's main sponsor is

The Football Pools logo itself appears on the back of first-team shirts, above the player's name.[29]

Women's football

The affiliated women's football team is called Preston North End W.F.C., they currently play in the FA Women's Premier League Northern Division.

2013 Fans' All-Time XI

In 2013, the club asked supporters to vote for the "Fans' All-Time XI". The results were as follows:[30]


External links

  • Official Website
  • Lilywhite Magic – An unofficial PNE website
  • Norwegian supporter Website
  • History of Preston North End: 1862–1945
  • online site
  • PNE Video Archive
  • Online video footage of Preston North End winning the 1938 FA Cup
  • PNE Team Pics
  • PNE Play-off record
  • Preston North End F.C. on Club statistics

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