Beck down to earth for PNE hero

PNE hat-trick hero Beckford lifting the play-off final trophy
PNE hat-trick hero Beckford lifting the play-off final trophy
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The man who orchestrated Preston North End’s play-off final victory Jermaine Beckford did not have time to bask in the limelight of his hat-trick heroics…instead he had to deal with some dirty dishes.

Although he is only the third man in history to have scored a hat-trick in a play-off final at Wembley, dad-of-three Beckford crashed back down to earth to the reality that he has to chip in with the household chores too.

He said: “It couldn’t have gone any better.

“It was the highest of the highs and then I went home and got shouted out for not packing the dishwasher!

“It is completely surreal but it has been amazing too.”

Beckford enjoyed champagne on the pitch with his team-mates, gaffer Simon Grayson and the rest of the North End staff.

But due to the post match euphoria and party on the team bus back to Preston, the striker admitted he is yet to pick up the match ball.

He said: “I’m still to collect the ball, I left it with someone responsible straight after the game because I was celebrating.

“I haven’t seen them yet so hopefully they have still got it.”

And Beckford says the magical day in the capital that saw North End break their play-off ‘hoodoo’ at the tenth attempt is as good as when he made the jump from non-league outfit Wealdstone to sign his first professional contract for Leeds United in 2006.

He said: “It was one of my best days in football.

“It is right up there with the best of the best. I think I will put it alongside when I signed my first professional contract.”

After completing his hat-trick, Beckford was brought off in the 68th minute due to a niggle.

The striker said it was just a precaution and was 
pleased that he got to watch the last few minutes like the rest of the PNE fans – as a supporter.

He said: “I had a sore calf. I felt like I’d pulled my calf a little bit. Rather than run the risk of serious injury I thought, ‘We are 4-0 up, there is only about 20 minutes left, get me off – let watch the game and let me be a supporter’.”

Although he is yet to put pen to paper on a deal with PNE, the ex-Premier League striker has enjoyed the strike partnership he developed with Deepdale hot shot Joe Garner during his loan spell from Bolton Wanderers.

And he also likes linking up with some former team-mates at North End, as well as boss Simon Grayson again.

He said: “It’s brilliant to play with Joe because we have a great understanding of each other’s games, our strengths and weaknesses. It just 
works.

“It was nice to share it with the Huddersfield guys Tom Clarke and Calum Woods again. I’ve played for Jamaica with Chris Humphrey, I’ve played at Leeds with Paul Huntington and Neil Kilkenny…the list goes on and on of the players in the 
team that I have played with before.

“It is always nice to have a baseline friendship that you can build upon and experience something like this with 
them.”