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First Team News

On This Day… 24th April

24 April 2020

There have been a couple of celebrations on this date, one of them being exactly 20 years ago today… despite the result on the day.

On 24th April the Lilywhites headed down to Abbey Road to face Cambridge United in a game they knew that could see them promoted and also see them crowned champions.
However, on the field, it proved to be a tough day at the office, with the visitors losing 2-0 to the Us and finishing the game with ten men after a red card for Michael Jackson.
But draws elsewhere for nearest challengers Wigan and Gillingham meant PNE would finish top of the pile and at the final whistle, there was a tense wait for the other results to come through, but the confirmation which North End fans needed was the sight of manager David Moyes running from the dressing room and out on to the pitch spraying a bottle of champagne.
That got the party started both in Cambridge and later that night back in Preston as players and supporters alike partied into the small hours of the morning.
If the truth be told, few of the 2,000 North End fans who made the trip probably remember the actually 90 minutes of football, but Cambridge scored twice in the first half to dampen spirits in the away end to start with. Thankfully, the mood after the final whistle was so much more buoyant!
In 1915, North End also celebrated, with  an immediate return to the first division after suffering relegation the previous season, despite losing the final game of season 2-0 at Derby County – something familiar about this!
Promotion as runners-up had been clinched the previous week with a 3-0 home win over Arsenal, but the club had to wait four years to play at the higher level again, due to football being cancelled during the Great War.
This was very much a yoyo period for the club with two relegations and two promotions in four seasons before stability was finally established for a few seasons from 1921 onwards.
The only North End player to date to have been born in Gibraltar celebrates his 60th birthday today!
Graham Houston played 135 times between 1979 and 1986, mainly as a winger, before moving to Bury, Wigan and Carlisle as well as several non-league clubs.
After retiring, he became a police officer and was in the news a couple of years ago when he was among a group of off-duty officers tackled a man wielding an eight inch knife! Happy birthday Graham!

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