Pools win for striker Hugill

PNE loanee Jordan Hugill celebrates with Hartlepool supporters on Saturday
PNE loanee Jordan Hugill celebrates with Hartlepool supporters on Saturday
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Preston North End striker Jordan Hugill kept Hartlepool in the Football League at the same time as losing his tag as PNE’s resident brainbox.

Hugill – on loan at Pools – scored their winning goal against Exeter, a result which condemned Cheltenham and Tranmere to relegation to the Conference.

During his time in Teesside, the 22-year-old has not been forgotten at Deepdale.

He has been North End’s best performer in the ‘On the Spot’ quiz in the club’s official matchday programme.

The feature sees two players go head-to-head in a general knowledge quiz, with the winner progressing to the next edition.

After out-thinking his PNE team-mates for a number of weeks, he met his match for the Swindon edition on Saturday.

Hugill’s opponent was ITN News presenter Mark Austin who proved too strong for him.

Austin’s involvement was arranged by Preston fan Richard Frediani, who is programme editor of ITV’s news at 6.30pm show.

North End media executive Stephen Watson told the Evening Post: “Jordan has been by far the best of the players at the quiz over the last few weeks. Off the top of my head I would say he has won the last six or seven.

“Jordan had been bragging about it for the last couple of weeks so we decided to toughen things up for him for the Swindon programme.

“We pitched him up against Mark Austin – and Mark ran out comfortable winner.

“I got a text from Jordan on Saturday evening calling me every name under the sun!

“On a serious note, we were all delighted for Jordan that he scored Hartlepool’s winning goal. He went to get games under his belt to build his fitness and to score goals.”

Hugill joined Hartlepool on loan deadline day in March, just a couple of days after returning from an unsuccessful spell with Tranmere.

It was ironic that his goal on Saturday helped to relegate the Prenton Park outfit.

PNE chose to loan Hugill out in order to build his fitness following knee surgery which kept him out for five months.

He has played seven games for Pools – of those they won three, drew two and lost two.

That was part of a run which lifted them from the bottom of League Two to safety with one game to spare.

Hugill said: “When I heard Pools were interested in me, my motivation was I wanted to be the person that keeps them in the Football League – to score the winning goal.

“I have done that and it is just an unbelievable feeling.

“It was the greatest moment in my career by far and you cannot describe the feeling, we have all fought so hard for this moment.

“I can’t imagine how the other lads feel, those that have been here all season.

“Coming here, I wanted to keep Pools in the Football League because it has always been Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Pools in the league.

“So, to play a part in history is just unbelievable.

“I have made my mark by scoring the goal – that was my plan all along! It was a moment that was meant to be I believe.”