David Preece (footballer, born 1963)

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David Preece
Personal information
Full name David William Preece
Date of birth (1963-05-28)28 May 1963
Place of birth Bridgnorth, Shropshire, England
Date of death 20 July 2007(2007-07-20) (aged 44)
Place of death Luton, Bedfordshire, England
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1978–1980 Walsall
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1980–1984 Walsall 111 (5)
1984–1995 Luton Town 336 (21)
1995–1996 Derby County 13 (1)
1995Birmingham City (loan) 6 (0)
1996Swindon Town (loan) 7 (1)
1996–2001 Cambridge United 75 (2)
2001–2002 Torquay United 6 (0)
2002 Enfield 16 (0)
2002–2003 Stevenage Borough 0 (0)
2003 Enfield 15 (0)
Total 585 (30)
National team
1989 England B 3 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

David William Preece (28 May 1963 – 20 July 2007) was an English professional footballer who played in midfield. He was born in Bridgnorth. He played three times for the England B team.


Preece began his career as an apprentice with Walsall, turning professional in July 1980. His debut came the following year, as a substitute in the 2-1 win against Chester City. He was signed by Luton Town manager David Pleat in December 1984 and scored on his debut, a 1-0 win at home to Aston Villa. He went on to win a League Cup winners medal with Luton in 1988 and played nearly 400 times for Luton's first team.[1] He had a testimonial game against Manchester United in 1995 before moving to Derby County on a free transfer in August that year.

He was a bit-part player at Derby, and so he was loaned to both Birmingham City and Swindon Town. In September 1996 he joined Cambridge United on a free transfer. He made 75 appearances there and was appointed as manager Roy McFarland's assistant, before he joined Torquay United as a player/coach, again under McFarland in August 2001.[2] His contract with Torquay was terminated in July 2002, a move which also led to McFarland's resignation, with Torquay chairman Mike Bateson claiming cuts were needed after the collapse of ITV Digital and subsequent reduction in income.[3] He joined Enfield as a player, but left in December 2002 to become assistant manager of Stevenage Borough.[4] However, a change of manager at Stevenage saw Preece return to Enfield as player-coach in February 2003.[5]

In May 2003, Preece was appointed as first-team coach of Telford United.[6] In September 2004 he was appointed as assistant manager of Isthmian League side Walton & Hersham.[7]

Preece died in the early hours of 20 July 2007 after a short illness.[8] At the time he had been in remission for one year following surgery for throat cancer.

The family stand at Luton's Kenilworth Road stadium has since been named The David Preece Stand in memory of him.


  1. ^ "Luton legend David Preece dies aged 44". BBC Sport. 21 July 2007. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Preece linked with Torquay move". BBC Sport. 31 July 2001. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Torquay manager McFarland is first victim of ITV Digital collapse". BBC Devon. 16 April 2003. Archived from the original on 16 April 2003. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Preece appointed as Stevenage number two". NonLeague Daily. 20 December 2002. Archived from the original on 25 February 2012.
  5. ^ "Preece returns to Enfield". NonLeague Daily. 3 February 2003. Archived from the original on 25 February 2012.
  6. ^ "Preece handed Telford role". BBC Sport. 20 May 2003. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Preece joins Swans as number two". NonLeague Daily. 30 September 2004. Archived from the original on 25 February 2012.
  8. ^ "Luton legend Preece dies aged 44". BBC Sport. 21 July 2007. Retrieved 22 August 2015.

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