PNE in numbers: David Nugent’s England anniversary date
It is 13 years ago today that Preston North End striker David Nugent scored on his England debut against Andorra in Barcelona’s Olympic Stadium.
Nugent helped a shot from fellow substitute Jermaine Defoe over the line from barely a couple of inches out but they all count!
In doing so he joined that exclusive ‘club’ of one game, one goal for England.
The game was an Euro 2008 qualifier, Nugent rounding-off a 3-0 win over the minnows after Steve Gerrard had netted twice earlier in the second half.
Good form for North End and in the England Under-21s had seen Nugent called-up for the senior squad by Steve McClaren for games against Israel and Andorra.
Darren Bent, then with Charlton, had dropped out of the squad through injury and that handed Nugent his chance.
He had scored 16 goals in a Preston shirt that season, signing-off before duty for his country by netting in a 2-0 win over Burnley.
Nugent wasn’t involved against Israel but was handed the No.17 shirt and a place on the bench for the Andorra game – played in Barcelona to help cope with a big England support.
He joined the action in the 79th minute, replacing Andy Johnson up front.
Thus Nugent became the first North End player since Sir Tom Finney to play for England and the first English-based player outside of the Premier League to pull on the England shirt since Michael Gray did so in 1999.
On his return to PNE, Nugent scored only once more that season in a 4-0 win at Coventry.
He left Deepdale that summer to join Portsmouth for £6m, one of five clubs he played for before rejoining North End last summer on a Bosman.