Preston North End
PNE FC.png
Full namePreston North End Football Club
Nickname(s)The Lilywhites
Founded1880; 139 years ago (1880)
GroundDeepdale
Capacity23,404
ManagerAlex Neil
LeagueChampionship
2018–19Championship, 14th of 24
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Preston North End Football Club (often shortened to PNE) is a professional football club in Preston, Lancashire, whose team currently plays in the EFL Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. Originally a cricket club, Preston have been based at Deepdale since 1875. The club first took up football in 1878 as a winter fitness activity and decided to focus on it in May 1880, when the football club was officially founded. Deepdale is now football's oldest ground in terms of continuous use by a major league club.

Preston North End was a founder member of the Football League in 1888. In the 1888–89 season, the team won both the inaugural league championship and the FA Cup, the latter without conceding a goal. They were the first team to achieve the "Double" in English football and, as they were unbeaten in all matches, are remembered as "The Invincibles". Preston won the league championship again in 1889–90 but their only major success since then has been their 1938 FA Cup Final victory over Huddersfield Town. The club's most famous players have been Tom Finney and Bill Shankly, who are both commemorated at Deepdale by stands named after them. Other notable players include Tommy Docherty, Alan Kelly Sr. and Graham Alexander.

Until 1961, Preston were usually members of the First Division but, having been relegated after the 1960–61 season, they have not yet returned to the top flight. They were first relegated to the Third Division after the 1969–70 season and have spent 28 of the 49 seasons since 1970 in the bottom two divisions, including a span of 19 seasons from 1981 to 1982 to 1999–2000. Preston have faced serious financial issues and were twice in danger of closure. The club is now owned by businessman Trevor Hemmings and has been established in the EFL Championship since gaining promotion in 2015.

History

Chart showing the progress of Preston North End F.C. through the English football league system.

Preston North End was founded in 1863, originally as a cricket club, and played their first matches at the Marsh near the River Ribble in the Preston suburb of Ashton. Later that year, they switching to Moor Park in the north of the town, calling themselves "North End" in recognition of the new location. On 21 January 1875, the club leased a field opposite Moor Park on the site of the current Deepdale stadium, which has been its home ever since.[1]

The club formed a rugby union team in 1877 as a winter fitness activity but this was not a success and, a year later, they played their first game under the rules of association football. In May 1880, a proposal to fully adopt the association code was unanimously accepted and Preston North End Football Club was officially founded.[1]

Preston became one of the first professional clubs by hiring players from Scotland. In 1887, they beat Hyde 26–0 in the first round of the FA Cup, still a record winning margin in English first-class football. Scottish forward Jimmy Ross scored eight goals in the match before going on to score 19 goals in the competition that season, also still a record.[2]

They played Hibernian F.C. in 1887 World Championship losing 2–1 in Edinburgh.

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

In 1888–89, Preston 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.[3] In a contribution to Paul Agnew's 1989 biography of Tom Finney, the player himself wrote: "The club has long been known as Proud Preston, and the Old Invincibles of the previous century set some incredible standards".[4] The author wrote elsewhere: "...and that team became immortalised as the 'Old Invincibles'".[5] Other sources call the team "The Invincibles" and both versions of the nickname have been used.[6] In his autobiography, Finney wrote: "The championship stayed with North End — by now tagged the Old Invincibles — the following year, but runners-up spot had to suffice for the next three seasons".[7] As Finney said, Preston were league champions again in 1889–90, but have not won the title since. In total, they have been league runners-up six times, including the three consecutive seasons from 1890 to 1891 to 1892–93, and twice in the 1950s when Finney was playing. The club's last major trophy win was in the 1938 FA Cup Final when they defeated Huddersfield Town 1–0 and the team included Bill Shankly, Andy Beattie and goalscorer George Mutch.[8]

Preston's most famous player, Tom Finney, joined the club as a teenager in 1938. His first team debut was delayed until 1946 by the Second World War but he played for Preston until he retired in 1960. He was nicknamed the "Preston Plumber" because of his local business. Finney remains the club's top goalscorer, with 187 goals from 433 appearances, and also scored 30 international goals for England in 76 appearances.[9]

A year after Finney's retirement, Preston were relegated to the Second Division and have not played in the top division since. They had a memorable season in 1963–64 when, managed by former player Jimmy Milne, they finished third in the Second Division and reached the 1964 FA Cup Final where they lost a thrilling match 3–2 to West Ham United.

Preston were first relegated to the Third Division after the 1969–70 season. Although they won promotion again immediately, the team have spent 28 of the 49 seasons since 1970 in the bottom two divisions, including a span of 19 seasons from 1981 to 1982 to 1999–2000. The club experienced a near-terminal decline in the 1980s which brought about the very real threat of closure, the nadir being the 1985–86 season when they finished 23rd in the Fourth Division and had to seek re-election to the league.

Under David Moyes, Preston were Division Two champions in 2000, and narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier League the following season.

Under manager John McGrath, the team recovered and won promotion back to the Third Division only a year later but it was a false dawn as the team spent another three years in the bottom division from 1993 to 1996. The club finally began to recover and move forward after a takeover by heating manufacturer Baxi in 1994 but their ownership ended in June 2002.[10][11] The team's central defender David Moyes, then aged 34, began his managerial career when appointed by the Baxi-controlled board in February 1998. Moyes was successful and managed the team to the third tier championship in 2000. Preston reached the 2001 play-off final but were defeated by Bolton Wanderers. In the 2005 play-off final, under Moyes' successor Billy Davies, Preston were beaten 1–0 by West Ham United.[12]

Following the Baxi sell-off and the departure of Moyes to Everton in 2002, the team was established at second tier level through the 2000s but more problems arose at the end of the decade with an HM Revenue and Customs winding-up order in 2010 and relegation to the third tier in 2011. The taxation issue was resolved by local businessman Trevor Hemmings, already a shareholder, who bought a controlling interest in June 2010.[13] The team were promoted again, via the play-offs, in 2015 and have been well-placed in the EFL Championship since then.

Deepdale was the original cricket club's home from 1875 and has been a football venue from 1878. It is the world's oldest football ground in terms of continuous use by a club in a major league. When Baxi took control, it embarked on an investment programme which had the main goal of upgrading Deepdale into a modern stadium. The old ground was demolished and rebuilt in four stages and the last of the new stands was opened in 2008. Part of the redevelopment was the original National Football Museum which opened at Deepdale in 2001, though it closed in 2010 due to funding issues and was relocated to Manchester in 2012.[14]

Ground

Deepdale stadium.

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. Following a complete reconstruction between 1996 and 2009, the stadium has a seated capacity of 23,404. The current pitch dimensions are 110 x 75 yards.[15]

Statue

The Splash commemorates Preston legend Tom Finney.

Outside the Sir Tom Finney Stand is a statue of the famous player himself, which 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.[15]

Players

As of 8 January 2019

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

No. Position Player
1 England GK Declan Rudd
2 England DF Darnell Fisher
3 England DF Josh Earl
4 England MF Ben Pearson
5 England DF Tom Clarke (captain)
6 England DF Ben Davies
7 Republic of Ireland FW Callum Robinson
8 Republic of Ireland MF Alan Browne
9 England FW Louis Moult
10 England FW Josh Harrop
11 Jamaica MF Daniel Johnson
12 Scotland MF Paul Gallagher
13 Wales GK Michael Crowe
14 England DF Jordan Storey
15 Republic of Ireland DF Joe Rafferty
16 Wales DF Andrew Hughes
17 England MF Josh Ginnelly
No. Position Player
18 England MF Ryan Ledson
20 England FW Jayden Stockley
21 England MF Brandon Barker (on loan from Manchester City)
23 England DF Paul Huntington
24 Republic of Ireland FW Seán Maguire
25 England GK Connor Ripley
27 England FW Connor Simpson
28 England GK Mathew Hudson
29 England FW Tom Barkhuizen
30 England MF Jack Baxter
31 England DF Tom Stead
32 Republic of Ireland MF Adam O'Reilly
33 England MF Ethan Walker
34 Scotland DF Jack Armer
39 Wales FW Billy Bodin
44 England MF Brad Potts
45 Germany FW Lukas Nmecha (on loan from Manchester City)
51 England DF Tommy Spurr

Out on loan

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

No. Position Player
20 Republic of Ireland DF Andy Boyle (on loan to Ross County until 30 June 2019)
22 Wales GK Chris Maxwell (on loan to Charlton Athletic until 30 June 2019)
26 England FW Michael Howard (on loan to Hednesford Town until 30 June 2019)
No. Position Player
33 Belgium DF Marnick Vermijl (on loan to MVV Maastricht until 30 June 2019)
34 England MF Ben Pringle (on loan to Grimsby Town until 30 June 2019)

Former players

Technical staff

Below is a list of non-playing personnel:[17][18]

Name Role
Alex Neil Manager
Frankie McAvoy Assistant Manager
Steve Thompson First Team Coach
Jack Cudworth Goalkeeping Coach
Matt Jackson First Team Physio
Tom Little Fitness Coach
Nick Harrison Academy Manager
Joe Savage Head of Recruitment
Daniel Steve Cowell Kitman

Managerial history

As of 23 August 2018

The following is a list of Preston North End managers since 1986, excluding caretakers:[19][20]

Manager Nationality Period Total League
G W D L Win % G W D L Win % Point Av.
John McGrath  England 1986–1990 192 74 53 65 38.54 165 68 45 54 41.21 1.51
Les Chapman  England 1990–1992 129 44 30 55 34.11 118 39 29 50 33.05 1.24
John Beck  England 1992–1994 99 36 20 43 36.36 87 31 19 37 35.63 1.29
Gary Peters  England 1994–1998 166 72 42 52 43.37 143 63 37 43 44.06 1.58
David Moyes  Scotland 1998–2002 234 113 60 61 48.29 196 95 53 48 48.47 1.72
Craig Brown  Scotland 2002–2004 106 36 30 40 33.96 97 32 28 37 32.99 1.28
Billy Davies  Scotland 2004–2006 101 45 35 21 45.55 87 40 31 16 45.98 1.74
Paul Simpson  England 2006–2007 67 27 14 26 40.30 62 25 14 23 40.32 1.44
Alan Irvine  Scotland 2007–2009 110 45 25 40 40.90 99 40 24 35 40.40 1.45
Darren Ferguson  Scotland 2010 49 13 11 25 26.53 45 11 11 23 24.44 0.98
Phil Brown  England 2011 51 15 15 21 29.41 42 13 11 18 30.95 1.19
Graham Westley  England 2012–2013 62 16 23 23 25.81 52 11 21 20 21.15 1.04
Simon Grayson  England 2013–2017 235 104 74 57 44.26 198 84 67 47 42.42 1.61
Alex Neil  Scotland 2017– 54 22 17 15 40.74 50 20 17 13 40.00 1.54

Honours

League

Club records

Original: Original:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preston_North_End_F.C