Alan Gowling started his career at Manchester United and played 71 games in their first team. In 1972, Gowling scored both goals as United beat PNE 2-0 at Deepdale in the FA Cup.
After leaving Old Trafford, he had successful spells with Huddersfield, Newcastle and Bolton, before Gordon Lee signed him for Preston in 1982.
He played 43 games in the 1982/83 season, starting the campaign as a centre-half before switching up front. Gowling scored five goals in North End colours, three of them in the final three games of the season which all ended in wins. The last of those was in a 1-0 victory at Wigan. He retired that summer.