Former player details and stories will appear on this page, but below is some information about the best of them all.
Alan Kelly Snr
Alan Kelly Snr made his debut for Preston North End in a fourth round FA Cup tie against Swansea, and never looked back.
A colossus between the posts, the ‘keeper spent a remarkable 13 years at Deepdale, turning himself into a Club legend in the process.
He made his way across the Irish Sea in 1958 from Drumcodra, where he won an FAI Cup winners’ medal the year before, to play for North End and would later establish himself as one of the Republic of Ireland’s most capped players.
Throughout his illustrious Preston career, Kelly saw the Club go from the dizzying heights of second in Division One, to the lowest of lows when they were relegated to the Third Division in 1970.
However, he always stayed loyal to the Lilywhites and missed just five of a possible 214 league games in an incredible five year period in which he was never dropped – the epitome of consistency.
Following his retirement, he became manager at North End in 1983, before leaving his post in 1985 and later going on to coach at Everton.
In 2001, Kelly joined Club legend Sir Tom Finney in having a stand erected in his name at Deepdale – the Alan Kelly Town End.
Before that, however, the Irishman spent time nurturing another exceptional Preston shot-stopper - his son Alan Kelly Jnr – who now coaches the first team goalkeepers at North End.
Alan Kelly Snr eventually passed away in 2009 at the age of 72, but will always be remembered by everyone at PNE for being the greatest ‘keeper the Club has ever had.
You wont find many full backs who have scored 65 goals for a single club in their playing career, then again, you wont find many full backs like Graham Alexander at all.
‘Grezza’, as he is more commonly known around Deepdale, was a huge part of Preston North End’s identity for the best part of a decade, coolly slotting penalties home and often putting his body on the line for the Club’s cause.
However, it was at Scunthorpe United the defender first broke into professional football, having been a trainee at Glanford Park prior to his 198 appearances for the Iron.
In 1995, the Scot transferred to Luton Town for £100,000 and shined for the Hatters in his four years at Kenilworth Road.
Alexander played in 180 games for Luton, scoring 17 goals in total, before he eventually signed for fellow Division Two side Preston in 1999.
In his first stint with the Lilywhites, ‘Grezza’ ran out an incredible 400 times for the Club and was handed his first Scotland cap in 2002.
He achieved cult status among North End fans thanks to his no nonsense defensive attitude, attacking capabilities and penalty spot heroics, scoring 63 goals from his regular right back slot.
However, Alexander’s PNE days came to an end in 2007, when Lancashire neighbours Burnley acquired his services for the bargain price of £100,000.
With the Clarets, the full back continued to flourish, and even helped Owen Coyle’s side to promotion to the Premier League in 2009, via the Play-Offs.
As one of the oldest outfield players the top flight has ever seen, ‘Grezza’ continued to defy logic and enjoyed a stellar season at Turf Moor, scoring eight vital goals.
Then, following the club’s relegation after just a single year in English football’s top division, and a disappointing eighth placed finish in the Championship the season after, Alexander returned home to North End for one final season as a professional.
He might not have been as quick and his joints might have been slightly creakier, but seeing ‘Grezza’ back in Lilywhite was a sight to behold for every North End fan.
Understandably, at 40-years-old, the Preston legend announced that he would retire at the end of the 2011/12 season, but not before scoring a 90th minute winner against Charlton Athletic in his final game at Deepdale!
Once his playing days ended, Alexander took up a coaching role with PNE as Head of Youth at the Club’s academy.
Then, late in 2012, he got his break into first team management with Fylde coast neighbours Fleetwood Town.
Many football fans forget that, before Mark Lawrenson was lifting the European Cup and league titles with Liverpool, the defender actually started his playing career with Preston North End.
Born in the small Lancashire town of Penwortham, ‘Lawro’ broke into the PNE first team under 1966 World Cup winner Bobby Charlton in 1974, at just 17-years-old.
He impressed with his astute ability to read the game and his polished style of defending and, before long, was a regular in the Lilywhites’ starting line-up.
In his three years involved with the North End first team, the defender racked up 80 appearances for the Club and, following a conversation with former Preston ‘keeper Alan Kelly Snr, got his first Republic of Ireland cap while still a player at Deepdale.
However, his PNE career was cut short when the Club accepted a £100,000 bid from newly promoted Brighton.
Reluctantly, the now Match of the Day pundit moved to the South Coast, where he spent four years, and helped the Seagulls with promotion to Division One in 1979.
His obvious talent was spotted by Liverpool and their legendary boss Bob Paisley paid a record-breaking £900,000 for the centre back’s services in 1981.
At Anfield, ‘Lawro’ enjoyed his best years as a professional, winning five league championships, three League Cups, one FA Cup and one European Cup.
However, due to an Achilles tendon injury, Mark was forced to retire in 1988 and went on to manage Oxford United and Peterborough United before becoming the well-known TV personality he is today.
A legend on opposite sides of the world, Joe Marston is highly regarded in both Preston and Australia for what he did during his playing days.
In 1943, the defender played his first match for New South Wales State League side Leichhardt-Annandale and continued to appear for the Aussie outfit for a further six years – supplementing his income by working as a painter and a life guard.
Then, in 1950, he transferred to Preston North End and would go on to create a stellar partnership in defence alongside both Tommy Docherty and Willie Forbes.
Initially deployed at right back, Marston took some time to settle into the English game, but once he switched positions to centre half, it didn’t take long for the Lilywhites fans to recognise his incredible talent.
Having helped North End win the Second Division in 1951, the defender became an ever-present in the Preston first team and is now widely regarded as one of the most influential post-war players the Club has had.
He made history in 1954, when North End took on West Bromwich Albion in the FA Cup final, as he became the first Australian to play in the world’s most prestigious knock-out competition.
Upon leaving Deepdale, he returned to live in Australia, where he resettled with his family and, to this day, the Joe Marston Medal, awarded to the man of the match in the A-League and National Soccer League grand final, is named in his honour.
The definition of dependable, Ryan Kidd made just one appearance for any Club other than Preston North End.
The defender started out at Port Vale but, after just one game for the Valiants, he was snapped up by his former schoolboy side North End on a free transfer.
In his nine years at Deepdale, Kidd would play a staggering 317 for Preston and establish himself as a favourite among the Club’s fans.
In 1996, the versatile defender was part of the squad that won the Third Division championship and, after the turn of the new millennium, he also contributed heavily to the side that gained promotion to the Championship under current Manchester United boss David Moyes.
However, following a serious neck injury and numerous other niggling problems, including an operation on a troublesome knee, Kidd was forced into retirement in November 2001.
He has since made appearances in legends’ games for the Lilywhites and can sometimes be heard giving his views on PNE Player, as part of the Club’s commentary team.
Sir Tom Finney
Mention the name 'Preston North End' anywhere around the world, and the chances are the topic of conversation will always turn to one man - Sir Tom Finney.
It is a testament to Sir Tom's achievements in his Deepdale days and his superb role as a club ambassador ever since that he is one of those rare individuals seen to be almost as big as the club itself.
Proud of his Prestonian roots and proud to play his entire professional career with his home-town club, the man known as 'the Preston Plumber' will probably never be surpassed in the position of Preston North End's greatest player of all time.
His official league debut came at the belated age of 24 as the Second World War delayed the start of an astonishing career, with the occasion marked with a goal in the 3-2 victory over Leeds Utd at Deepdale'. Finney had played many war-time fixtures for the club, but it wasn't until that day that his career really kicked off.
What a career it was too. Though he primarily excelled at outside right, he was equally comfortable in all five positions across the forward line. His record of 210 goals in 473 games would be the envy of many strikers, yet Tom was also involved in the creation of several hundred further strikes for his grateful team-mates.
In his third league season with the club, Finney was missing for long spells through injury and North End suffered relegation to the second tier of English football. The club was to return two years later however, with Finney the architect of a magnificent run which propelled the club to the Second Division Championship.
Finney turned down an offer of £10,000 - and a villa and a car - from Palermo in an unprecedented show of loyalty to his hometown club. He was the model professional, who never forgot his humble beginnings and an inspiration for fans and team mates alike.
In the 1953-54 season, Finney and his team-mates fired Preston all the way to Wembley for the FA Cup Final. But a disappointing 3-2 defeat to West Bromich Albion was the closest Finney came to top level domestic honours for the club.
He could take comfort however from being handed the Footballer of the Year award from the football writers after an almost unanimous vote. It was a considerable achievement considering he missed nearly half the league season through injury and was not 100 per cent fit for many games.
He won the accolade again in 1956-57, where his partnership with Tommy Thompson blossomed. They scored an incredible 57 times between them in that single season as North End finished third in the league.
The next season saw Preston go one better and finish runners-up with Finney again in terrific form. Optimism was high for the 1958/59 season and the Club started the season in terrific form. Finney was moved back to the right wing and the team was challenging for honours again until Finney was injured just before Christmas. He was able to play just one more league game all season and the Club's form suffered.
With injuries taking their toll, Finney finally hung up his boots - to the relief of many defenders - in the 1959/60 season. His last game, a home fixture against the already relegated Luton which North End won 2-0, attracted a crowd of 30,000 to bid their farewells.
Ironically, in North End's first season without the great man, Preston were relegated after struggling for goals all season.
Finney played a total of 76 times for England, both as an outside right and a striker, scoring 30 times. At the time his total number of caps was only exceeded by Billy Wright, who played in all but two of Finney's internationals.
He enjoyed a friendly rivalry with Stanley Matthews, who had originally ousted Finney for the right wing role in the side. He was re-instated as a centre forward however, and showed incredible versatility the first time the two played together when Portugal were thrashed 10-0, with both men scoring. Finney also engineered the 4-0 defeat of world champions Italy in 1948, scoring twice in the process.
Fellow great Bill Shankly once said: "He would have been great in any team, any match and in any age - even if he had been wearing an overcoat."
Following retirement from the game, he maintained his initial trade as a plumber, and also took on reporting duties with the News of the World, before a union coup prevented him from continuing without formally 'learning the trade'!
He also served as a magistrate in his home-town for over 20 years, as well as commencing a four-year chairmanship of the Preston Health Authority in 1984.
Finney was knighted in the New Year's Honours List in 1998, an accolade many believed was long overdue.
In July 2004, Sir Tom unveiled the water feature sculpture "The Splash" which stands outside The National Football Museum. The sculpture was inspired by the 1956 Sports Photograph of the Year which features Tom Finney beating two defenders at a waterlogged Stamford Bridge.
The Preston great spent much of his retirement as a devoted and caring husband to his wife, Elsie, who sadly passed away in November 2004 after a four-year battle with Alzheimer's.
A website was created and launched in 2012 to celebrate Sir Tom's birthday, www.sirtomfinney.com, can be accessed via the features tab above.
On the 14th February 2014, Valentines Day, the City of Preston fell deep into mourning as Preston North End announced late that evening that Sir Tom Finney had died at the age of 91.
Tributes to Sir Tom flooded in from over the world to mark the passing of one of England's greatest footballers.
Sir Tom's civic funeral was held on the 27th February - the City drawn to a standstill as his cortège passed through the heart of the Lancashire City making its way to St John's Minster, Preston.
Despite his passing, the Sir Tom Finney name still lives on - in the form of a road, a statue, a school, a stand, a stadium, a gym, and most of all, in the hearts of every Prestonian.
Lancaster-born midfielder Alan Spavin was spotted by Preston North End staff playing for local junior side Carnforth Rangers in 1959.
He became an integral part of the Lilywhites’ academy, which reached the 1960 FA Youth Cup final in 1960, only to lose out to Chelsea.
Later, Spavin would establish himself as possibly North End’s most important cog, ticking over in midfield with his immeasurable tenacity and perseverance.
His 424 appearances for the Club include the 1964 FA Cup final defeat to West Ham United at Wembley and his two goals in the 1971 3-0 victory against Rotherham, to secure promotion to Second Division.
In 1973, the midfielder departed Deepdale for pastures new in the United States, where he joined NASL side Washington Diplomats and found reasonable success.
He rejoined North End before the start of the 1977/78 season and continued to impress at the Club, establishing himself as a Preston legend.
It’s strange to think that it has been over ten years since Sean Gregan last ran out at Deepdale as captain of Preston North End.
The all-action midfielder spent six years with the Club and enjoyed incredible success in a period of relative glory under both Gary Peters and David Moyes.
During his time as a Lilywhite, ‘Greegs’ played a pivotal role in the side’s continuous challenge to become a First Division Club.
The midfielder played 255 games for North End, scoring 14 goals in the process, but it’s his influence on the rest of the team and leadership qualities that are still so fondly remembered.
He would eventually lead the Lilywhites to the Second Division crown in 2000, before taking the Club to the brink of the Premier League one year later, only to lose out in the Play-Off final to former PNE favourite Sam Allardyce’s Bolton team.
Gregan was eventually sold to West Brom in 2002, a sad day at Deepdale by all accounts, and would later feature for Kevin Blackwell’s Leeds United side.
A loan spell at Oldham Athletic followed, before he transferred to the Latics on a permanent basis in January 2007 and eventually finished his career in Lancashire on loan at Fylde coast club Fleetwood Town.
The scourge of arch rivals Blackpool during his time at PNE, David Eyres could probably still do a job in the Lilywhites midfield, judging by his recent dominance of some legends’ games.
‘Eyrsey’ played his first game as a professional for the Seasiders, making 195 appearances for the side at the other end of the M55.
Following his four years at Bloomfield Road, the left midfielder transferred to Burnley, where he proved an important player in the Lancashire footballing spectrum for another four seasons.
In 1997, Eyres signed for Preston North End and would go on to be a massive success at Deepdale in his three years with the Club.
The winger went on to play an integral role in the side’s promotion to the First Division in 2000, but not before he scored a brace against his former club Blackpool in a 3-0 win at Deepdale – securing his place in North End folklore.
A free transfer in October 2000 saw Eyres move to Oldham Athletic and continue his success in the English game – making over 200 appearances for the Latics in the six years before his retirement.
Only Club legend Sir Tom Finney stands in Alex Bruce’s way as Preston North End’s all-time leading goalscorer, though the former Scotland forward is widely recognised as the Lilywhites best ever striker.
A graduate of the PNE youth system, Bruce made his debut as a 19-year-old against Swindon Town on the final day of the 1971/72 season.
Successful campaigns in Lilywhite followed, before the Scot moved to Newcastle United in 1974.
However, Bruce found it difficult to adapt in the North East and failed to make an impact on the Magpies first team before returning to Deepdale a year later.
The Scotland international went on to top score for North End in five of the next six seasons and his partnership with Mike Elwiss formed a terrifying sight for opposition defenders.
In 1977/78, Preston achieved promotion to the Second Division on the back of Bruce’s incredible 27 goal tally and he was handed an Adidas golden shoe for his efforts.
The forward ended his Deepdale stay with 153 strikes in 363 matches, just 27 behind Sir Tom’s long-standing record.
He moved to Wigan Athletic where he concluded his career with 51 appearances for the Latics.
As the only member of the XI currently still playing professionally, it’s clear to see that David Nugent made a massive impact on the Preston fans during his short stay at Deepdale.
The striker started his career at Bury, where he scored 20 goals for the Shakers in sporadic spurts in the first team at Gigg Lane.
Nonetheless, North End believed they had unearthed a gem when they signed Nugent in January 2005, and they were proved right.
‘Nuge’ scored his first PNE goal away to QPR to help the Lilywhites secure a 2-1 win over the Hoops at Loftus Road.
From then on, it became clear the goal-getter was a class above many of his opposing defenders, often embarrassing them into submission with his tireless style of play.
In just two and a half seasons at Deepdale, Nugent scored 37 goals for North End and became the first Preston player to represent England at international level since the great Sir Tom Finney.
It soon became widely accepted that the forward’s stay at Deepdale wouldn’t last long, as numerous high profile Premier League sides circled him.
Nugent eventually transferred to Portsmouth for a massive £6m – a Club record – in 2007, though couldn’t replicate his incredible Championship form in the heavy heights of the Premier League.
Two spells on loan at Burnley followed before the forward was signed on a free transfer in 2011 by Leicester City, where he has flourished at Championship level once more with 33 goals in 100 appearances for the Foxes.