Age no barrier for past PNE front men

Brett Angell in action for PNE against Blackpool.
Brett Angell in action for PNE against Blackpool.
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Preston’s tracking of striker Robbie Keane has captured the imagination over the last couple of weeks.

Even at the age of 36, the former Republic of Ireland international is proving to be much sought-after, with the Lilywhites not the only club chasing him.

Whether North End are successful in their pursuit remains to be seen.

History shows that this is not the first time they have taken a punt on strikers in their 30s.

In July 2013, Kevin Davies moved to Deepdale at the age of 36.

Davies was a free agent having been let go by Bolton that summer.

He went on to play 90 games for North End, 46 of those starts, scoring six goals.

His final appearance was in the play-off final at Wembley, that proving to be the last game of his career with him retiring that summer after not being offered a new deal.

A striker in his 30s to make a big impact at Deepdale was Brett Angell, signed on loan from Stockport County.

David Moyes added him to the squad in February 2000 as PNE pushed for promotion from the old Second Division.

Angell was 32 at the time but scored eight goals in nine starts and six appearances from the bench, doing the job he was brought in to do.

At the end of the season there was talk of PNE trying to sign Angell for longer but he chose to join Walsall.

In the 1995/95 campaign, North End signed 33-year-old Gary Bennett from Tranmere.

PNE boss of the time Gary Peters called him ‘goals on legs’, Bennett signed to act as back-up to Andy Saville – himself 31 – and Steve Wilkinson.

Bennett scored on his debut in a 2-1 victory at Sacrborough but his impact was limited after that.

The following season he did score twice in a 3-0 win over Blackpool at Deepdale, coming off the bench with the scoreline goalless.