Six Scottish stars who made Preston their home

Deepdale Stadium panoramic view (Credit: Hudson6dogs, Wikimedia Commons)

Scotland suffered one of their worst weeks in international football following their recent 3-0 defeat Kazakhstan.

They hesitantly returned to winning ways against San Marino on Sunday, and residents in Preston will be backing the Scots to keep their form going.

Preston North End have a long and proud connection with players and coaches north of the border, so here’s a closer look at a handful who’ve graced the pitch at Deepdale.

Paul Gallagher

The only current Scot on the books at Preston, Gallagher enjoyed three loan spells before making the permanent switch to Lancashire in 2015.

The 34-year-old has gone on to make over 200 appearances for the club, and was part of the squad to celebrate promotion back to the Championship in May 2015.

A one-time international, Gallagher has become a fan favourite for the Lilywhites and solidified his status with supporters back in November 2018.

After coming on as a second-half substitute, he scored a free-kick with his first touch and was forced to replace the sent-off goalkeeper at Ipswich Town – all within three minutes. A last-gasp save secured his side a much-needed point away from home.

Craig Brown

Former Dundee FC star Craig Brown had a two-year spell in charge of Preston North End, which began at the back end of the 2001/02 season.

The 78-year-old was in the dugout for 97 games for North End, with his best results coming in big home wins against Crystal Palace and Burnley.

Brown, who was appointed a CBE in 1999 for his services to football, eventually left the club by mutual consent in August 2004.

Alan Irvine

Having previously spent a decade in the North West as a player and coach for Blackburn Rovers, Irvine joined Preston North End as manager in November 2007 with the club in an early relegation scrap.

The Glaswegian guided the club to safety with a 15th place finish in his first season, and a dramatic final day of his first full season saw the club secure a play-off spot.

Losing to Sheffield United in the semi-finals, North End struggled to replicate success in the 2009-10 season and Irvine was sacked in December 2009 after just one win from 10 games.

Graham Alexander

Alexander enjoyed a terrific career at Preston and turned out over 400 times for the club. The Scottish right-back became club captain and a set-piece specialist for the Deepdale club, helping the club achieve promotion to the second tier in his first full season under fellow Scotsman David Moyes.

The number two was a fan favourite and later became caretaker manager during the 2011/12 campaign – his final season with the club. He came agonisingly close to promotion to the Premier League at Preston, losing twice in play-off finals, but did end up playing in the top flight at Burnley.

David Moyes

Glasgow-born David Moyes began his professional career at Celtic in 1980. The centre-back made 24 appearances in three years before moving to English side Cambridge United. Moyes had spells with Bristol City, Shrewsbury Town, Dunfermline and Hamilton before signing for Preston in 1993.

The Scot had spent much of his career as a player preparing for management and, after playing 143 games for the Lilywhites and scoring 15 goals, Moyes took over as Preston North End manager in January 1998, replacing Gary Peters.

At the time, Preston were in danger of being relegated from League One, but Moyes managed to steer them to safety and within two seasons gained promotion to the Championship with an impressive points tally of 95 points. Incredibly, Preston were nearly promoted to the Premier League the year after but Moyes’ side were beaten 3-0 in the play-off final by Sam Allardyce’s Bolton Wanderers.

Moyes left Preston the following year to manage Premier League side Everton. Since then, he has gone on to manage Manchester United, Real Sociedad, Sunderland and West Ham.

Moyes’ Preston record as a manager stands at 234 matches, 113 wins, 58 draws and 63 defeats.

Callum Davidson

Callum Davidson is surely up there with one of the best free transfers Preston North End have made since the turn of the millennium.

A warrior of a left-back with a rocket of a left-foot, Davidson established himself as a fan favourite during his seven years at Deepdale, despite being plagued with recurring injury troubles.

He soon became club captain following his arrival from Leicester City in 2004 and would go on to make over 160 appearances for the club.

The Scot did score on his last appearance for the club from 12-yards, on a New Year’s Day home match against Derby County.