Joe Grayson follows in former Preston North End boss’s footsteps

Joe and dad Simon Grayson
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Former Moorland School pupil Joe Grayson – son of ex-Preston North End boss Simon – is in the record books already after making his debut for Blackburn in their League Cup tie against Lincoln City.

His Rovers debut saw the first father and son pairing to represent the Championship club for 89 years.

But for Grayson Snr, who had a three-year stint at Rovers and led North End to promotion via a Wembley play-off final in 2015, he admits seeing his son’s professional bow gave him the collywobbles. “I’ve managed for 13 years and played in the Premier League, so I know a bit about pressure, but I’ve never been so nervous before a game,” said proud father Simon.

“It is a big day for any dad when he sees his son play his first professional game and naturally you want to see him do well. It was a strange feeling sat in the stand, though, because when you’re a manager you can control the destiny of a match to a certain extent, by a tactical switch or with advice.

“But looking down at the game watching Joe then it felt a completely different experience indeed.

“I settled down after about half an hour, though. It was definitely a more entertaining game than when I made my debut for Leeds at 17 – a 0-0 draw with Huddersfield!”

Joe is a product of the Moorland football academy and signed scholarship forms for Blackburn at 15 while still studying at the Clitheroe School.

Rovers boss Tony Mowbray said: “Lincoln’s Matt Rhead is a big centre-forward, a monster of a man but Joe coped well. It’s certainly a game he’ll remember for the rest of his life.”

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