Following the announcement of David Beckham’s retirement, PNE.Com takes a look back at the time he spent at Deepdale during the 1994/95 season.
After the dismissal of John Beck, midway through his second full campaign in charge, assistant manager, Gary Peters, took hold of the North End reigns and decided to gamble on the short term loan of a skinny, 19-year-old midfielder.
And although a slightly smaller version of the future superstar arrived at Deepdale for his first game, Beckham made a massive impact – scoring directly from a corner against Doncaster Rovers.
Having been a fringe player at Manchester United, the Red Devils had decided the London-born midfielder needed to toughen up, something he more than accomplished during his time as a Lilywhite.
The future England captain proceeded to show assurance and awareness well beyond his years, securing a starting place in Peters’ line up for the next four consecutive games.
He bagged his second goal for North End with a peachy free kick against Fulham, reminiscent of the type of strikes he would go on to score for Manchester United, Real Madrid and England.
He stood over the spot of the foul - with an unfamiliar number four on his back - before taking his trademark three strides and wrapping his right foot around the ball, curling it into the top left hand corner.
However, to the disappointment of everyone at the Club, Beckham returned to Old Trafford earlier than expected.
As it turns out, another retiring great of English football, Sir Alex Ferguson, required him for first team duty.
His last game in the white of Preston was a one-all draw against Lincoln City, a result which helped Peters’ side secure fifth place in the Third Division, and a play-off berth.
Eventually the Lilywhites were thwarted by Bury in the semi finals thanks to consecutive one-nil losses.
Though, it is widely believed, had Beckham stayed at the Club, North End might just have had enough quality to secure promotion that year - such was the impact he had.