Preston North End F.C.

Preston North End F.C.
Preston North End
PNE FC.png
Full name Preston North End Football Club
Nickname(s) The Lilywhites, PNE, North End, The Whites. "Proud Preston", '
Founded 1881
Ground Deepdale,
Preston, England
(Capacity: 23,408)
Owner Trevor Hemmings
Chairman Maurice Lindsay
Manager Phil Brown
League League One
2010–11 The Championship, 22nd
Home colours
Away colours
Current season

Preston North End Football Club is an English professional football club located in the Deepdale area of the city of Preston, Lancashire, currently playing in the third tier of English league football, League One. They were a founding member of the English Football League in 1888 and were the first English football champions.

Based on all results during their 112 seasons in the Football League from 1888–89 to 2010–11, Preston are ranked as the all-time fifth most successful English football club domestically. Only Notts County have played more Football League games than Preston.[1]



In the past Preston were famously successful, being the first winners of "The Double" in English football. In 1888–89 Preston became the only team to go throughout an entire season unbeaten in both the league and FA Cup – also with the record of never conceding a goal in the FA Cup. Arsenal, in 2003–04, also managed to have an unbeaten season in the top flight (although Arsenal played 38 games to Preston's 22) but went out of the FA Cup at the semi final stage. PNE were league champions again the following season, and have not won the title since. Their last major trophy was an FA Cup triumph in 1938.

Preston were relegated to the Second Division (currently the Football League Championship) in 1961 and have not played in the top division since. They 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. Preston won the Third Division title at the first attempt and so returned to the Second Division.

Without a doubt, Preston's greatest player is arguably one of the greatest footballers of all time and a local lad Sir Tom Finney. Finney is regarded as one of the best of his era and scored 30 international goals in his time. He also made a brief appearance for Distillery of Northern Ireland during their European campaign of 1963. Dubbed the "Preston Plumber" due to Finney actually being a plumber, he remained Preston's most recent full England international until David Nugent who scored on his only international appearance against Andorra.

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

Preston North End in 1888–89, the first Football League champions, subsequently doing 'The Double'

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 within a whisker of 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 playoff 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 playoffs (losing 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. They almost made it two promotions a row in 2001 but lost 3–0 to Bolton Wanderers in the Division One playoff 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 Scottish national coach Craig Brown took over as manager. Preston were little more than a mid-table side during Brown's tenure, though they were 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. They reached the playoffs again the following year, this time losing in the semi-finals, to Leeds United. Davies then moved to Derby County, subsequently got them promoted via the playoffs, 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 playoff places, however from March 2007 the club slid rapidly down the league. This happened even after 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, despite a 1–0 victory over Birmingham City at Deepdale on the final day of the season. They finished the season in seventh place.

Chart showing the progress of Preston North End through the English football league system from the inaugural season in 1888–89 to 2007–08 when Preston North End came 15th in the League Championship

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 (Matthew Drury) 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, 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",[2] a move which angered some Preston fans.[3] 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.

On 20 November 2007, Everton's assistant manager Alan Irvine was appointed as Preston's new manager on a three-and-a-half year deal, and he achieved his first objective as manager by securing Preston's survival by finishing in 15th place. The following season he lead Preston to 6th in the Championship after a good run of form towards the end of the season, qualifying for the playoffs. They missed out on promotion to the Premier League after losing 2–1 on aggregate to Sheffield United, after a 1–1 draw at Deepdale stadium was followed by a 1–0 loss at Sheffield United's Bramall Lane. On 29 December, Irvine was sacked after a poor run of results, with the club appointing Darren Ferguson as his successor on the 6 January. Ferguson made his home debut in a 2–0 loss to Chelsea in the fourth round of the FA Cup, however they 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 mainly made up of draws and losses 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 2009–2010 season Preston finished 17th. 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,[4] with Jon Parkin scoring his second hat-trick of 2010 (the first being in their 7–0 thrashing of Colchester in the F.A. Cup Third Round on 2 January 2010[5]), but his first league hat-trick in over 5 years. On 29 December 2010 Darren Ferguson was sacked following the 1–3 home defeat to relegation rivals Middlesbrough.

Former Bolton Wanderers assistant manager and Hull City manager Phil Brown was appointed as Ferguson's replacement and won his first match in his 13th game in charge. This sparked a run of form, but did not prevent their relegation to League One. They beat Swansea City and Sheffield United, but relegation was confirmed by a 0–1 home defeat to Cardiff City in April.[6] The relegation was marked in the traditional Burial Of The Coffin in Bamber Bridge on the 24 July 2011.


Deepdale Stadium was built in 1860 and was first used for association football in 1878.

Deepdale is claimed to be the longest continuously used football ground in the world[citation needed], and in 2011 it will have been used for 135 years. The biggest attendance seen was 42,684 for a Division One clash with Arsenal in April 1938[7] .

In 1933, the Town End burnt down and was demolished and rebuilt. Following a complete reconstruction between 1996 and 2009, the stadium now holds a capacity of 23,408 seats[8] . The current pitch dimensions are 110x75 yards[7].

The stadium was chosen as the location for the National Football Museum due to Preston being the first-ever winners of The Football League, therefore making Preston the first home of English football. Having been one of the largest football museums in the world when it closed in 2010, due to size and access considerations[citation needed] it is set to move to Urbis in Manchester by 2012.

Play-off defeats

Preston have made the play-offs in a record eight seasons and in all 3 divisions, but have not yet been promoted via this route. Preston's first appearance in the play-offs was in 1989 where they were beaten in the 3rd Division (now League One) play-off semi final by Port Vale.

In the third division (now League Two, formerly division 4) they lost in the 1994 final to Wycombe Wanderers 4–2 at Wembley after beating Torquay United in the semi finals, then a year later they were beaten by Bury in the semi-finals.

Preston's next appearance was in the then Second Division (now League One) in 1999 where they were beaten by Gillingham in the semi-final. Following promotion to the 1st Division in 1999/2000, Preston reached the play-offs in their 1st season at the higher level where they beat Birmingham City in the semi-final on penalties before being beaten by Lancashire rivals Bolton Wanderers in the final which was the first to be held at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

They reached the play-offs again in 2005 where they once again reached the final in Cardiff after beating Derby County in the semi-final, however once again they were beaten in the final, this time by West Ham United. Preston's 2006 play-off campaign again resulted in defeat, this time at the semi-final stage against Leeds United.

Preston North End reached the playoffs once again on 3 May 2009. To get there, on final day of the season they defeated Queens Park Rangers 2–1. Goals from Jon Parkin and Sean St. Ledger, in the 34th and 74th minutes, helped them to overtake Cardiff City, who lost 1–0 to Sheffield Wednesday, to take the 6th place spot, and ultimately, a chance for top flight football in the Premier League. Preston and Cardiff had the same amount of points and the same goal difference, but Preston had scored one more goal and finished ahead of Cardiff in the league table. In the first leg of their semi-final, Preston and Sheffield United drew 1–1 at Deepdale. In the second leg, however, Preston's hopes of Premier League football were shattered once again, losing 1–0 Sheffield, suffering a 2–1 loss on aggregate. A 59th minute goal by Greg Halford sealed Preston's exit from the playoff stages, with Sheffield destined for the playoff final against Burnley at Wembley Stadium which they later lost 1–0.

Managerial history

Listed Preston managers according to when they became manager:
Manager Nationality Period G W D L Win % Point Av.
Vincent Hayes  England 1919–1923
James Lawrence  Scotland 1923–1925
Frank Richards  England 1925–1927
Alex Gibson  Scotland 1927–1931
Lincoln Hyde  England 1931–1932
Ashley Marsh  England 2010–2012
Tommy Muirhead  Scotland 1936–1937
Will Scott  England 1949–1953 163 78 36 49 47.85 1.65
Scot Symon  Scotland 1953–1954 63 30 11 22 47.62 1.60
Frank Hill  Scotland 1954–1956 88 31 17 40 35.23 1.25
Cliff Britton  England 1956–1961 230 102 54 74 44.35 1.56
Jimmy Milne  Scotland 1961–1968 350 126 96 128 36.00 1.35
Bobby Seith  Scotland 1968–1970 70 15 21 34 21.48 0.94
Alan Ball  England 1970–1973 118 44 36 38 37.29 1.42
Frank Lord*  England 1973
Bobby Charlton  England 1973–1975 89 29 25 35 32.58 1.26
Harry Catterick  England 1975–1977 90 38 22 30 42.22 1.51
Nobby Stiles  England 1977–1981 174 56 67 51 32.18 1.35
Tommy Docherty  Scotland 1981 17 3 6 8 17.65 0.88
Alan Kelly*  Ireland 1981 1 0 0 1 00.00 0.00
Gordon Lee  England 1981–1983 93 32 25 36 34.41 1.30
Alan Kelly  Ireland 1983–1985 70 23 13 34 32.87 1.17
Tommy Booth  England 1985–1986 42 11 10 21 26.19 1.02
Brian Kidd  England 1986 4 0 1 3 00.00 0.25
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
Kelham O'Hanlon*  Ireland 2002 8 4 1 3 50.00 1.62
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
Rob Kelly*  England 2009–2010 1 1 0 0 100.00 3.00
Darren Ferguson  Scotland 2010 49 13 11 25 26.53 1.02
David Unsworth*  England 2010–2011 2 0 0 2 00.00 0.00
Phil Brown  England 2011– 32 12 9 11 37.50 1.41

* Caretaker manager


In 1996, their Third Division title glory made them the third and last team to have been champions of all four professional leagues in English football, although this feat had previously been achieved by Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1988 and local rivals Burnley in 1992.


  • Football League First Division/Premier League (first tier)[9]
    • Champions: 1888–89, 1889–90
    • Runners-up: 1890–91, 1891–92, 1892–93, 1905–06, 1952–53, 1957–58




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 Scotland DF David Gray
3 Northern Ireland DF Conor McLaughlin
4 England MF Ian Ashbee (captain)
5 England DF Clarke Carlisle (on loan from Burnley)
6 Wales DF Craig Morgan
7 Canada FW Iain Hume (vice-captain)
8 Scotland MF Paul Coutts
9 England FW Jamie Proctor
10 Scotland MF Barry Nicholson
11 Germany FW Juvhel Tsoumou
12 Scotland DF Brian McLean
14 Scotland DF Steven Smith
15 Republic of Ireland MF Adam Barton
16 England MF Danny Mayor
17 Wales MF Paul Parry
18 Northern Ireland DF Daniel Devine
No. Position Player
19 Jamaica FW Keammar Daley
20 England MF Darel Russell
21 Scotland GK Iain Turner
22 Scotland MF Graham Alexander (vice-captain)
23 England DF Scott Leather
24 Northern Ireland MF Seanan Clucas
25 England GK Andreas Arestidou
26 Australia DF Bailey Wright
27 Northern Ireland FW Jamie Douglas
28 England MF George Miller
30 England DF Alex Billington
31 England GK Dominic Comrie
32 Northern Ireland FW Michael McLellan
33 England FW Neil Mellor
34 Barbados FW Jonathan Forte (on loan from Southampton)
35 England FW Sam Hoskins (on loan from Southampton)

Youth Team

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
29 England MF Doyle Middleton
36 England MF Luke Clark
40 England FW Brandon Zibaka
England GK Steven James
England GK Jordan Watson
England DF Daniel Forbes
England DF Matthew Greenwood
England DF Reece James
England DF Alan Scurry
England DF Adam Thurston
No. Position Player
England MF Jordan Bent
England MF Daniel Birchall
England MF Ryan Croasdale
Morocco MF Naim El-Harrati
Republic of Ireland MF Will Hayhurst
England MF David Kuba-Kuba
England MF Louis Robinson
England MF Jack Sowesby
England FW Matt Dudley
Republic of Ireland FW Sam Osobe

Technical staff

Manager: England Phil Brown
Assistant Manager: England Brian Horton
First Team Coach England David Unsworth
Goalkeeping Coach
Head of the Medical Department England Matt Jackson
Part-Time Physiotherapist England Mick Rathbone
Club Massuer England John Sumner
Director of Youth England Dean Ramsdale
Youth Team Coach England Jamie Hoyland
Assistant Director of Youth England Nick Harrison
Youth Development Officer England Darren Finch
Chief Youth Scout England Jim McCluskie

Club records


Preston's primary rivalry is with Blackpool F.C., and the West Lancashire derby between the two clubs has been contested nearly 100 times across four divisions of league football. A Blackpool-supporting producer of the television show Countdown took a novel swipe at Preston by displaying the letters "PNECRISIS" for viewers to solve in May 2011. This had come after supporters at both clubs took turns mocking each other at the prospect of Preston's relegation to League 1.[12]

Preston also enjoys local rivalries with Lancashire clubs Burnley, Blackburn Rovers and to a lesser extent Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic. They have also had clashes with Derby County, which many fans consider to be their biggest historic rivals, along with Carlisle United and Sheffield United. They also still have a large continued rivalry with Leeds United, after many of the first team players joined Leeds United around 2004, causing a lot of resentment towards them and also an acrimonious play off defeat against them 3-1 on aggregate where United finished the second leg with only 9 men. Preston recently defeated Leeds, 6–4, in which they came back from 1–4 down becoming the first team to ever score 6 goals at Elland Road.


Over the years, the club has been sponsored by many local companies, as well as a few national ones, these have included;

Women's football

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

Notes and references

  1. ^ "England : All Time Table". Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Ellis, Brian (28 August 2007). "Elvis banned from Deepdale". Lancashire Evening Post. Retrieved 29 March 2008. 
  3. ^ Edbrooke, David. "Preston North End prospering under Alan Irvine". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "BBC Sport – Football – Leeds 4–6 Preston". BBC News. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2011. 
  5. ^ Steve Martyn (3 January 2010). "Preston 7 Colchester 0: Jon Parkin scores a hat-trick as managerless Preston run riot | Mail Online". Daily Mail. UK. Retrieved 25 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "Preston 0 – 1 Cardiff". BBC Sport. 25 April 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "North End Statistics". Preston North End FC. 3 April 2008. Archived from the original on 9 December 2008.,,10362~1033911,00.html. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  8. ^ "Deepdale". Preston North End FC. 1 July 2010. Archived from the original on 26 November 2009.,,10362~1033873,00.html. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c d Up until 1992, the top division of English football was the Football League First Division; since then, it has been the Premier League. Similarly until 1992, the Second Division was the second tier of league football, when it became the First Division, and is now known as The Championship. The third tier was the Third Division until 1992, and is now known as League One.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Milestones". Preston North End FC. 3 January 2008. Archived from the original on 7 March 2009.,,10362~1033950,00.html. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  11. ^ "Preston North End | Club | History | History | North End Statistics".,,10362~1033911,00.html. Retrieved 25 August 2011. 
  12. ^ Roughley, Gregg (Thursday 12 May). "Blackpool fan takes Preston North End rivalry into Countdown studio". Guardian newspaper website. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "Preston North End – Sponsors Through the Years". Retrieved 25 August 2011. 

External links

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