Pre­ston’s Third Di­vi­sion cham­pi­ons of 1995-96

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: - By Neil Fissler

STEVE WILKIN­SON was a pro­lific goalscorer in the lower di­vi­sions and was the ideal sign­ing for Pre­ston’s bid to climb out of Di­vi­sion Three.

North End, un­der man­ager Gary Peters and with David Moyes in cen­tral de­fence, had made steady progress the pre­vi­ous sea­son but were knocked out of the play-offs by Lan­cashire ri­vals Bury.

Peters, backed by the Baxi-Part­ner­ship, was given funds to win pro­mo­tion and set his stall out by sign­ing Wilkin­son and fel­low striker Andy Sav­ille.

Af­ter a poor start it clicked into place and Pre­ston went on a 13 match un­beaten run from Septem­ber un­til Jan­uary which trans­formed them into se­ri­ous con­tenders.

Sav­ille fired 29 goals and Wilkin­son an­other ten as they over­came a lit­tle stum­ble in the fin­ish­ing straight, drop­ping from first to sec­ond af­ter los­ing to Northamp­ton Town.

But win­ning the last three matches 2-0 against Ori­ent, Hartle­pool and Ex­eter was enough to clinch the ti­tle and Wilkin­son says it was more com­fort­able than it looked at some stages.

“It wasn’t un­til the end of Septem­ber that we added our away form to some re­ally good home form and we slowly started to climb the league,” he said.

“The game that started the run was against Ch­ester and at the time they were first or sec­ond.

“It was a sig­nif­i­cant win and gave us all lots of con­fi­dence that we were head­ing in the right di­rec­tion. My­self and Andy Sav­ille scored. It was that game that kick started the part­ner­ship as well as the sea­son.

“Be­fore that we had sev­eral new faces in the team that needed to set­tle in and for it all to click into place.

“From a per­sonal point of view, scor­ing my first league goal for Pre­ston at Deep­dale gave me a lot more con­fi­dence.

“So it was a com­bi­na­tion of things that all started to work on the same day.

“We scored a lot of goals that sea­son and the foot­ball was a plea­sure to be part of.

“To­wards the end of the sea­son it looked as if it was go­ing to be a bit tricky but then we won our last three games.

“It was more com­fort­able than it looked with five or six games to go and we re­ally stepped up when it mat­tered.”

1. Gareth Ainsworth: Has been Wy­combe Wan­der­ers boss since April 2013 af­ter twice be­ing QPR’s care­taker boss.

2. Lee Cartwright: Has worked for North­ern Care as a care worker at a chil­dren’s home in Clay­ton-le-Moors.

3. Si­mon Davey: Went into man­age­ment with Darlington, Barns­ley and Here­ford be­fore trav­el­ling to Amer­ica where he is now North Amer­i­can di­rec­tor for Con­cept 4 Soc­cer In­ter­na­tional.

4. Al­lan Smart: Was head of youth de­vel­op­ment at South­port and Black­burn and worked with un­der priv­i­leged kids in the Traf­ford area be­fore mov­ing south and is now academy man­ager of Farn­bor­ough.

5. Barry Richard­son: Is now the Wy­combe goal­keep­ing coach. He has also worked for Lin­coln City, Not­ting­ham For­est, Peter­bor­ough and Don­caster.

6. David Lu­cas: He is the Fleet­wood goal­keep­ing coach un­der for­mer team­mates Gra­ham Alexan­der and Chris Luck­etti.

7. John Vaughan: He was goal­keep­ing coach at Hud­der­s­field Town for six years and is now work­ing for Birm­ing­ham City.

8. Steve Wilkin­son: Lliv­ing in Lough­bor­ough and works as a course leader for sport and ac­tive leisure at Lough­bor­ough Col­lege

9. Kevin Magee: Lives in Brox­burn, West Loth­ian and has worked as a con­creter in Cum­nock, Ayr­shire.

10. Graeme Atkin­son: A lec­turer at My­er­scough Col­lege, pro­vides stats for the Press As­so­ci­a­tion and is a per­for­mance an­a­lyst for the ECFA Col­leges.

11. Ge­off McDougall: He went onto be­come head of youth re­cruit­ment at Bolton, Leeds United and now Black­burn Rovers.

12. Brian Hick­son: Loyal club ser­vant who was the kit man for many years.

13. Paul Raynor: Has worked un­der Steve Evans at Bos­ton United, Craw­ley and now Rother­ham.

14. Ryan Kidd: Has held var­i­ous coach­ing posts in the north and is now back at Bury as un­der-18 boss.

15. Andy Sav­ille: Back liv­ing in his home town of Hull and work­ing as a post­man.

16. Jamie Squires: En­joyed a long ca­reer with Bam­ber Bridge and is liv­ing and work­ing in Pre­ston.

17. John Cal­li­gan: Be­lieved to be liv­ing and work­ing in North Wales.

18. Steve Holmes: Back liv­ing in his na­tive Middlesbrough and run­ning a rock pav­ing busi­ness.

19. Kevin Kil­bane: Went on to play in the Pre­mier League and for the Repub­lic of Ire­land. Now work­ing in the me­dia af­ter ob­tain­ing a de­gree from Stafford­shire


20. Mick Rath­bone: The for­mer head of sports medicine at Ever­ton now runs a sports in­jury clinic in Black­burn.

21. Jim Parker: He went on to work in his own pri­vate phys­io­ther­a­pist prac­tise.

22. Joe Jakub: Lives in Den­bigh, Clwyd and has been a youth coach, worked for a com­pany sup­ply­ing win­dows and doors, and pro­vided stats for the Press As­so­ci­a­tion.

23. Chris Bor­wick: Is still liv­ing and work­ing in the Pre­ston area.

24. Terry Flem­ing: Has man­aged Lin­coln United and is now as­sis­tant man­ager of Sleaford Town.

25. Andy Fensome: Worked along­side Davey at Here­ford and Barns­ley, has coached in Aus­tralia and Amer­ica and is pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment phase coach at Pre­ston.

26. David Moyes: Manch­ester United man­ager af­ter leav­ing Ever­ton in June 2013.

27. Gary Peters: Gave David Beck­ham his de­but, is now foot­ball con­sul­tant to Mi­das Sports Man­age­ment; also has property in­ter­ests

28. Ian Bryson: Has coached at Pre­ston’s cen­tre of ex­cel­lence, worked as a floor man­ager for Pre­mier League Pro­duc­tions and works in the lo­cal me­dia.

29. Gra­ham Lan­cashire: He was a fund raiser for Speed­Mark and is academy op­er­a­tions man­ager with Burn­ley.

30. Mickey Brown: Has worked as per­sonal trainer, so­cial worker, then had a spell as Shrews­bury’s fit­ness coach. He has also mod­elled men’s un­der­wear.

31. Ray Sharp: Now back in Scot­land and works in the Dun­fermline area.

32. Chris Sully: He has coached at Black­burn, Bolton, Leeds, also lec­tured at Univer­sity of Cen­tral Lan­cashire and is now work­ing in Ever­ton’s academy.

































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