Preston North End F.C.
|Full name||Preston North End Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||The Lilywhites, The Invincibles|
|Website||Club home page|
Preston North End Football Club (often shortened to PNE) is a professional association football club located in the Deepdale area of Preston, Lancashire. They play in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system.
The club was a founding member 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".
Preston's most recent major trophy success was their FA Cup victory over Huddersfield Town in 1938. Many notable players have played for the club, including Tom Finney, Bill Shankly, Tommy Docherty, Alan Kelly, Sr. and Graham Alexander.
Based on results achieved in the Football League from 1888–89 to 2015–16, 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.
Preston North End was founded in 1863, originally as a cricket club, playing their first matches at the Marsh near the River Ribble in the Preston suburb of Ashton, before switching later that year to Moor Park in the north of the town, adopting the "North End" name as a result. On 21 January 1875, the club leased a field opposite Moor Park on the site of the current Deepdale stadium, which has been their home ever since.
The club adopted the rugby union code in 1877, but one year later they played their first game under the rules of association football, and in May 1880 unanimously passed a resolution to adopt the association code, marking the foundation of Preston North End Football Club.
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.
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.
Preston were league champions again the following season, but have not won the title since, although they have been league runners-up six times, including three consecutive seasons (1891–93) and twice in the 1950s. The club's last major trophy win was their 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, but won promotion back as champions at the first attempt. Alan Ball, Sr., then manager, remarked that "Preston's fans are the best, they are the Gentry", and the club now designates one away fixture each season as "Gentry Day", intended for remembrance of deceased fans and players, which Preston fans attend in fancy dress, wearing bowler hats and gentleman's suits.
Among others, World Cup winners Bobby Charlton and Nobby Stiles would manage the club during the 1970s and 80s, with varying degrees of success, but the overall trajectory was one of steady decline, and the club eventually fell into the Fourth Division for the first time in its history in 1985, finishing second bottom of the entire league the following season, and only avoiding relegation into the Football Conference via re-election.
John McGrath oversaw Preston's promotion back to the Third Division a year later, where they remained when John Beck took over in October 1992. 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 into the top flight. Preston hoped his "long ball" philosophy might work for them too, but Beck was unable to save Preston from relegation during his first season, and after defeat in the play-off final a year later, he was replaced by his assistant Gary Peters.
After signing strikers Andy Saville and Steve Wilkinson, Peters successfully guided Preston to the Division Three title in his first full season as manager, eventually quitting in February 1998, to be replaced by 34-year-old defender David Moyes.
Captained by Sean Gregan and featuring such players as Jon Macken, Graham Alexander and David Eyres, Preston quickly developed into Division Two promotion contenders under Moyes, reaching the 1998–99 play-offs, before being promoted as champions the following year. The club almost made it two promotions in a row to reach the Premier League, but lost to Bolton Wanderers in the 2001 play-off final. Moyes left for Everton the following season, and despite successive play-off campaigns under Billy Davies – when the team included Youl Mawéné, David Healy and England international David Nugent, the first Preston player to win a full England cap since Tom Finney in 1958 – and another play-off attempt under Alan Irvine, Preston were unable to achieve promotion to the Premier League during a ten-year spell in the second tier.
A succession of unsuccessful managerial appointments, starting with Darren Ferguson and ending with Graham Westley, saw the club relegated to League One and threatened with a further drop to the fourth tier after a club record run of 12 home games without a win under the latter's stewardship, before an up-turn in fortunes began under current manager Simon Grayson, who was appointed in February 2013.
Bolstered by the signing of Tom Clarke and Paul Gallagher, along with the goalscoring form of Joe Garner, Preston reached the League One play-offs in Grayson's first full season, and finally won promotion to the Championship in May 2015, after beating Swindon Town 4–0 in the play-off final, including a hat-trick by on-loan striker Jermaine Beckford. The club had failed to achieve promotion in their previous nine appearances in the play-offs across all three divisions, a record at the time.
Since promotion to the second tier, Preston have achieved two successive top-half finishes despite having the third-lowest budget in the Championship, relying on a shrewd transfer policy and the development of young, relatively inexpensive players.
The site of the current Deepdale stadium was first leased by the club in 1875 and was first used for association football in 1878. The biggest attendance seen was 42,684 for a Division One clash with Arsenal in April 1938.
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, sculpted by Peter Hodgkinson and unveiled in July 2004, was inspired by a famous photograph taken at the Chelsea versus PNE game in 1956, played at Stamford Bridge in particularly wet conditions.
- As of 23 June 2017.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Below is a list of non-playing personnel:
|Glynn Snodin||Assistant Manager|
|Steve Thompson||First Team Coach|
|Alan Kelly, Jr.||Goalkeeping Coach|
|Matt Jackson||Head Physio|
|John Sumner||Club Massuer|
|Nick Harrison||Academy Manager|
|Ian Miller||Chief Scout|
|Daniel Steve Cowell||Kitman|
- As of 7 May 2017
|G||W||D||L||Win %||G||W||D||L||Win %||Point Av.|
- Football League First Division (first tier)
- Football League Second Division/Football League First Division/Championship (second tier)
- Football League Third Division/Football League Second Division/League 1 (third tier)
- Football League Fourth Division/Football League Third Division/League 2 (fourth tier)
- FA Cup
- FA Charity Shield
- Runners-up: 1938
- Football League War Cup
- Winners: 1941
In 1996, Preston's Third Division title made them the third club to have been champions of all four professional leagues in English football. This feat has also been achieved by Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1988, local rivals Burnley in 1992, and both Sheffield United and Portsmouth in 2017.
- Most Goals (Overall): Tom Finney, 210 goals from 473 appearances.
- Most League Goals: Tom Finney, 187 goals from 433 appearances.
- Most League Goals in a Season: Ted Harper, 37 in Football League Second Division, 1932–33
- Record Attendance: 42,684 v Arsenal, Football League First Division, 23 April 1938
- Record Cup Victory: 26–0 v Hyde, FA Cup, 15 October 1887
- Record League Victory: 10–0 v Stoke, Football League Division One, 14 September 1889
- Record Defeat: 0–7 v Blackpool, Division 1, 1 May 1948
- Transfer Record (Paid): £1,500,000 for David Healy from Manchester United, December 2000
- Transfer Record (Received): £6,000,000 for David Nugent to Portsmouth, July 2007
- Youngest Ever Player: Brandon Zibaka 16 years and 161 days
- Oldest Ever Player: Bob Kelly 41 years and two months
Historically, Preston North End's main rivalry has been with Blackpool, who now play in League One. The West Lancashire derby between the two clubs has been contested nearly 100 times across all four divisions of the Football League since 1901.
The club's main sponsors since shirt sponsorship was introduced in 1979 have been as follows:
|1990–1992||Ribble Valley Shelving|
|2013–2014||The Football Pools/Carers Trust|
2013 Fans' All-Time XI
In 2013, the club asked supporters to vote for the "Fans' All-Time XI". The results were as follows:
- PNEFC (15 October 2014). "Preston North End FC First Time Fans". PNEFC.
- History. "Preston North End FC History".
- Ben Rhodes. "Deepdale Stadium".
- David Conn (3 October 2012). "Football League plans to examine Peter Ridsdale's role at Preston". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- Simon Grayson Appointed Manager
- "England : All Time Table". Statto.com. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
- "FA Cup Heroes". The Football Association. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
- In 2003–04, Arsenal also achieved an unbeaten season in the top flight, but they went out of the FA Cup at the semi-final stage.
- Digital Sports Group LTD. "Preston North End's Gentry Day". Football.co.uk.
- "Hats off to PNE's 'Gentry'".
- "Index of /".
- "Ridsdale backing for Westley". Sky Sports. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- "Simon Grayson named Preston North End manager" – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- "Preston 4–0 Swindon" - BBC Sport, 24 May 2015
- "Simon Grayson aims to send Arsenal the same way as Manchester United". Daily Telegraph. 4 January 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
- "Pearson Proud To Receive Award". PNEFC. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
- "Deepdale Stadium". Preston North End FC. 23 July 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- "North End Statistics". Preston North End FC. 3 April 2008. Archived from the original on 9 December 2008. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
- "Declan Rudd Signs Permanent Deal". PNEFC. 20 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
- "Preston North End Agree To Sign Manchester United Forward Josh Harrop". PNEFC. 23 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
- "Sean Maguire To Join PNE". PNEFC. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
- "Management profiles". Preston North End. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
- "List of Preston North End F.C. Managers". Preston North End. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
- "Preston Manager History – Past & Present – Soccer Base".
- 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.
- "Milestones". Preston North End FC. 3 January 2008. Archived from the original on 7 March 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
- Rhodes, Ben. "Preston North End FC History". Preston North End FC. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
- "Zibaka Breaks North End Record". League Football Education. 14 September 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
- "Age is just a number – Graham Alexander". BBC Sport. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
- "Blackpool's Head To Head Stats Against Any Team – Soccer Base".
- "Preston North End – Sponsors Through the Years". Historicalkits.co.uk. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
- "Sponsorship Puts Charities First". PNE. 8 July 2013. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
- "Preston North End Agree Virgin Trains Partnership". PNE. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
- "PNE women’s team have fresh start as Fylde Ladies". Blackpool Gazette. 25 May 2016. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
- "Bruce & Nugent Complete Fans’ Team". PNE. 7 August 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
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