May 24 – a date that will be etched in PNE supporting minds for a very long time – and now they have a permanent reminder of it as Stevie May will have it on the back of his shirt!
North End seem to have been linked to Stevie May for a long time! The Scottish international striker was pulling up trees at St Johnstone, scoring goals for fun north of the border and attracting plenty of interest.
In the end the opportunity of Championship football took him to the other side of the Pennines and to Sheffield Wednesday, however, the never say die attitude at Deepdale doesn’t just end at the white lines of the pitch and the tracking of the Perth-born forward ended when he put pen to paper on a three-year deal on deadline day last Tuesday.
Speaking to The One And Only after the ink had dried and been filed with the relevant footballing authorities the 22-year-old admitted that his decision to head to PR1 had been made very easy by the lost time admiration of him the Club had shown.
“When you sign for a new club you are nervous, but you know you are there to play football. You want to get things outside of football sorted; your house to give you a base and a foundation to kick-on on the pitch, once you are settled off it,” he told the matchday programme.
“The decision to come here was helped by the fact the Club had shown such a big interest in me for a long time. When I first came to sign people were listed the games they had been to see me and recounting what had happened in the games, which shows to me the intent and the desire to get me and for me that is the kind of people I want to play for, so I was delighted to get the move over the line.
“Knowing people have belief in you is an important thing. For a striker a lot of their game is confidence and having people believe in you is a big thing. The fans getting behind the players is also massive and that really does spur you on in games and it will serve us well this season.”
The choice of squad numbers came up whilst the striker was finalising the details of his seven-figure move from the Owls, with only four, 13 and 24 available in the first 30.
He didn’t feel that four was a striker’s number, although May 4, would have made a lot of Star Wars fans happy! Eoin Doyle decided he would have 13, the same number he wore in his first season at Cardiff, leaving 24 as the number to adorn the back of Stevie’s shirt.
And whilst plenty of people might try and take the credit for this brilliant piece of marketing post-event, the international forward says that the relevance of May 24 was only revealed by social media!
“I saw the fans mention it on Twitter!
“It was by chance rather than out of design!
“It has happened to me before in my career; at St Johnstone I had the No.17 and our Scottish Cup Final fell on 17th May and we went on to win it that season, so that was by chance as well – I must just be lucky with numbers!
“It is a nice bonus for the fans it is always nice to see people walking around with your name on their shirt and hopefully there will be a few more because of that!”
You can read a lot more from Stevie in Saturday’s matchday programme, along with interviews with Neil Kilkenny, Josh Brownhill, Chris Humphrey and Rams goalkeeper Scott Carson, a Cumbrian-born player who is looking forward to a return to the north west, having spent two years at Wigan.
There is the usual 13 pages of away content and much more packed into 84-pages of perfect bound content with over 200 images. They will be on sale from Friday afternoon from the Club’s retail store on the day at the ground for just £3.