Socceroos and North End defender Bailey Wright admits that it is a special feeling to be entering the PNE history books.
The Aussie is the first Preston North End player to go to a World Cup since Sir Tom Finney and Tommy Docherty back in 1958, Sir Tom being the last North Ender to feature in a match.
And Wright tingles with excitement at the thought of joining such illustrious company.
Speaking exclusively to PNE.Com from Brazil, Bailey said: “Someone mentioned before that if I was to get to the World Cup, the last North End players to play at a World Cup was Sir Tom Finney.
“I’m getting goose bumps now thinking about that because it’s a massive piece of history that I’ll go down with because who knows who’s going to be the next one from Preston.
“It’s nice that when you’re representing your country you’re representing your Club as well, so everyone’s been really good and been really supportive of me because it’s massive for the Club as well.
“It’s always going to be there and it’s something pretty special because Preston has got some massive history and has some of the best history in the world of football, so to go in the history books with them is pretty special.”
On arriving in Sydney with his international team-mates, a meeting was set up between Wright and Lilywhites legend Joe Marston, who was recently voted as one of the two central defenders in PNE’s ‘Fans’ All Time XI’.
Ironically, Marston, just like Wright, was a central defender, becoming the first Australian to be selected for the Football League representatives XI as well as winning the Second Division title with North End and playing in the 1954 FA Cup Final.
And it was a meeting that Wright was ecstatic to attend.
“It was unreal because I’ve heard so much about Joe,” continued the Socceroos No.8.
“Fans love him and loved what he done for the Club.
“He was a no-nonsense defender, so to be able to meet the guy, he was a true gentleman and a really nice guy and he was as fit as a fiddle.
“He was still cracking jokes and stuff like that, so to meet someone who’s still a legend and someone who’s a massive part of North End’s history was a special moment for myself.
“It was set up by the media guy here.
“He knew where we were training wasn’t too far from where he lived and they organised it and they thought that I’d love to meet him and it would make a great story as well, so I was delighted that I got the chance to go there and meet a guy like him.”
Marston and Wright talked about the old days of Preston North End during their meeting and the senior of the two left the 21-year-old with some excellent pearls of wisdom, as well as telling him how much he loved his time and the people of Preston.
Wright added: “He was telling me him and Sir Tom Finney used to write to each other every year and kept in touch and he always got invited to England, but obviously he had a family and it was a long way to go, but he loved his time in Preston and loved the people.
“So it was great to hear his memories of his time there and he said make sure you always give it your all because it’s a short career, advice I certainly plan on taking.”