Forgotten PNE players still playing football – from Hungarian striker to Premier League winner

Deepdale Stadium
Deepdale - the home of Preston North End
Deepdale Stadium
Deepdale – the home of Preston North End

We’ve taken a plunge into the Preston North End archive and found 13 ex-PNE men who haven’t hung up their boots just yet.

Some names you may have totally forgotten, some had a respectable stint at Deepdale and some it just didn’t work out for.

There’s a real range – from tough tackling midfielders to academy lads and a South African centre-half, who has one of the greatest names in football.

The earliest dates back to 2004 and the latest from the glorious Graham Westley days.

Here we go.

Alan McCormack (35)

Currently on the books at Northampton Town, defensive midfielder McCormack has gone on to have a successful EFL career after making just 11 appearances for PNE between 2004 and 2007.

He’s enjoyed spells most notably with Swindon, Brentford and most recently Luton, whom he helped to the League One title last season.

Chris Neal (33)

A name that should ring a bell, Neal is plying his trade not too far away with Salford City.

Despite spending five-years at PNE, he made just the one appearance, a seven-minute cameo in net.

Neal had loan spells with Tamworth, Morecambe and Shrewsbury before departing to the latter in 2012 on a permanent basis.

Lewis Neal (38)

65 appearances for the winger in a North End shirt between 2005-09 before leaving to Carlisle.

For those with a great memory and who love a long away trip, he scored a 90th minute winner in a 1-0 win at Southampton back in 2007.

Neal made the switch to the States in 2011, where he has represented Orlando City and DC United. He’s currently with the former playing for their indoor team, the Orlando SeaWolves.

Jemal Johnson (34)

A flashy winger with a very memorable name, JJ is a journeyman of the game having played for 16 different teams.

He played just three times for PNE during a 2005 loan-spell from neighbours Blackburn, and scored in a 3-0 home win against Hull.

He’s currently with Fresno FC in the USL but has been absolutely everywhere – from Lokomotiv Sofia in Bulgaria, to Dover Athletic and then to Jacksonville Armada.

Darren Carter (35)

Probably the most high profile name on this list, having featured in the Premier League for Birmingham and West Brom. Carter is now captain of Solihull Moors in the National League.

He played in midfield just short of 100 times for PNE – signed by Paul Simpson in August 2007 for a reasonable fee from Albion.

Carter scored an injury time own goal at Deepdale, against top flight Portsmouth in the FA Cup fifth round. His best moment though came away at Leicester. His 25-yard rocket in the last seconds won the game 1-0 for North End back in March 2008.

His contract was up at the end of the 10-11 season.

Tamas Priskin (33)

Priskin is a player that really has been around the block – he’s played in six different countries and has represented Hungary over 60 times.

His scoring record for PNE was decent enough, the striker scored twice in five appearances on loan including a goal in a 2-1 home win over Burnley.

He’s now back in Hungary with Ferencvárosi TC.

Adam Barton (28)

No, not the Emmerdale character. It’s quite hard to believe Barton is only 28, with plenty of years left in him yet.

The midfielder showed lots of promise in a PNE shirt and it is probably a case of ‘what could’ve been’, had he not suffered a triple leg break in February 2012.

He racked up 50 appearances for the club and scored in the 4-3 defeat at Burnley (sorry to remind you of that one).

He eventually signed for Coventry City and is currently with Wrexham in the National League.

Eddie Nolan (31)

Nolan certainly played his part during his two-years at Deepdale from 2009 to 2011.

Signed from Rovers as a young defender, he displayed a lot of likeable qualities and always gave his all on the pitch with his tenacious approach.

Nolan went on to play many times for Scunthorpe and is now with Crewe in League Two.

David Gray (31)

A regular at full-back under Darren Ferguson after signing from Manchester United in the summer of 2010.

He was released in May 2012 after a leg break disrupted his career at North End, but he made 45 appearances in total.

He has since established himself as a favourite with SPL side Hibernian.

Ritchie De Laet (30)

De Laet is back home in Belgium now with the club he started his career with, Royal Antwerp.

The right-back joined PNE on a month’s loan in November 2010 from Manchester United and played just five times.

Since then, he played a part in Leicester’s historical Premier League title campaign in 2015.

Amine Linganzi (29)

Probably one of the best 30 minute displays Deepdale has seen.

Signed in January 2011 by Phil Brown, the midfielder pulled up with a hamstring injury against Leicester in his only game which ruled him out for almost the rest of the season.

He looked a dynamic, exciting prospect but sadly North End fans never got to see him again after a second loan-move fell through.

Linganzi has gone on to play for Portsmouth, Gillingham and Swindon but is now with Chris Neal at Salford City.

Bongani Khumalo (32)

Here he is, what a name.

Signed on loan in an emergency deadline day deal from Tottenham Hotspur in 2011, Khumalo played six times.

He’s since had spells with Doncaster and Colchester, but is now back home with South African side SuperSport United.

The centre-back has played for his country over 40 times.

Conor McLaughlin (28)

Like Barton, another youngster who could’ve easily ended up playing for PNE for many years had it not been for a nasty leg break.

The right back came through the youth ranks and played over 20 times before being transfer listed in 2012.

He’s now with promotion chasing Sunderland in League One, after a season at Millwall and five years with Fleetwood Town.