Beckford agrees PNE deal

Jermaine Beckford has agreed a permanent move to Preston
Jermaine Beckford has agreed a permanent move to Preston
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Preston North End’s Wembley hero Jermaine Beckford has agreed a permanent move to Deepdale.

The striker, who netted a hat-trick in the 4-0 play-off final win over Swindon Town last month, will join the Lilywhites on a two-year deal on July 1 after his contract with Bolton Wanderers runs out.

Beckford joined North End on loan from Wanderers last November and went on to score 18 goals - 15 of them came from the end of February onwards after his return from a five-week illness lay-off.

He was in red-hot form in the play-offs, scoring the winner against Chesterfield in the first leg at the Proact Stadium.

The 31-year-old got two more in the return game at Deepdale, the second of those being a 50-yard shot.

In the Wembley final, Beckford opened the scoring inside two minutes and after Paul Huntington had added a second, he curled home a terrific effort to put PNE 3-0 up just before the interval.

He completed his treble early in the second half to put the game to bed, becoming only the third player to score a hat-trick in a play-off final.

Beckford said: “The management are a big reason I have signed, we have a good understanding and relationship and it was a no brainer really.

“I had a great time last season and everybody here, the staff, players, have just been amazing with me and it’s somewhere that feels like home.”