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First Team News

Dougie Holden 1930-2021

9 April 2021

It is with deep sorrow to announce the passing of former Preston North End footballer, Doug Holden.

Doug or Dougie as he was known to his North End team mates was aged 90.

It must be recorded that Manchester-born Doug had enjoyed an illustrious career as a footballer joining Bolton Wanderers as a junior from the Manchester YMCA set-up before turning professional in 1950.

After just a dozen Central League games for the Wanderers’ reserve team he made his league debut at Anfield in November 1951 on the left wing in place of ex-North Ender, Bobby Langton.

During his 12 seasons with Bolton, all in the top flight, he played 292 games on the right wing and 170 games on the left wing, scoring 44 goals.

Doug appeared in the 1953 FA Cup Final for the Wanderers against Blackpool, the Matthews final, in the No.7 shirt and in the 1958 FA Cup Final in which they beat Manchester United, he had reverted over to the left wing.

During April 1959 he won the first of five international caps for England.

In November 1962 Preston North End’s manager, Jimmy Milne, splashed out £8,000 to bring the 32 year-old winger to Deepdale and despite making his North End debut at Sunderland on the right wing it is as a left winger that he is fondly remembered by the North End fans.

Obviously fit for his age, and the position he played in the experienced Dougie Holden still had something to prove and duly scored at Wembley in North End’s 3-2 defeat to West Ham United in the 1964 FA Cup Final.

At the end of the 1964/65 season he was given a free transfer having played 103 games for Preston North End, scoring 15 goals. However, he decided to retire from playing in English football and emigrated to Australia playing for Hakoah of Sydney.

Whilst ‘down under’, so to speak, he was selected to represent the Australian ‘B’ international team.

He then turned his hand to coaching in Australia before returning to England briefly coaching Grimsby Town before managing non-league Dartford. His life after football was that of a car salesman.

Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

Ian Rigby, Club Historian


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