Ex-Preston North End and Derby County boss spotted watching old club beat Ipswich Town

Billy Davies during his Nottingham Forest daysBilly Davies during his Nottingham Forest days
Billy Davies during his Nottingham Forest days | CameraSport - Jack Phillips
His last job was with Nottingham Forest - whom he left in 2014

There was a surprise for Preston North End fans sitting in the Sir Tom Finney stand last Saturday - and not the victory against promotion chasing Ipswich Town.

Indeed, 17 years on from his departure at Deepdale, Billy Davies was back at his old club. Supporters attending the game spotted the Scot walking into the ground and he then took pictures with North End fans in the concourse - a reception which is believed to have been thoroughly appreciated.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Davies was not, as you would tend to find with former players, managers or staff, sat in the Directors' Box. He bought tickets towards the top of the STF and watched on as North End saw off high flying Ipswich 3-2 - thanks to three first half goals. Davies has assured he is ready to get back into managing, with his trip to PNE was to visit friends and take in another match.

He has been doing the rounds in recent months at several fixtures, visiting the likes of Bolton Wanderers and North End's rivals Blackpool - along with some games in Europe. Davies last managed Nottingham Forest in 2013/14 - his second stint at the City Ground - having been at the helm from 2009 to 2011. Prior to that, Davies managed Forest's rivals, Derby County.

It was the Rams whom Davies joined from Preston. He was in the Pride Park hot seat from June 2006 to November 2007, having taken North End to the play-offs in consecutive seasons. Davies worked as Craig Brown's assistant for a couple of years, before landing the No.1 role in September 2004. His first season saw PNE reach the play-off final, but lose 1-0 to West Ham.

The following campaign, North End drew 1-1 at Leeds United in the first play-off semi-final but then lost 0-2 at home. After that, it was made public that Premier League side Charlton Athletic had held talks with Davies - before opting against a move. PNE's chairman at the time, Derek Shaw, then went on record to say Derby's approach had been turned down. Davies was appointed by the Rams around one week later.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Speaking of his desire to return to management, Davies said back in October: "My focus, now, is firmly on football - watching games, doing courses and other bits and pieces. I am desperate to get back in. I have got my enthusiasm back, my focus back. I love this game and I have got a great passion for this game. I have spent a lot of time building qualification.

"For example, I spent a year doing a diploma in football management - all to do with the running of the club, top to bottom, all the financial side and different parts of a football club. In between that, I have also looked at women's football, disabled football, first aid, head injury, psychology, mental health, youth etcetera. I have thoroughly enjoyed looking into all of that stuff.

"I have done lots of CPD - Continued Personal Development - north and south of the border. I am now back doing the games, which I am thoroughly enjoying - all over the place. My plan over the next couple of months is to go again and visit some European clubs and look what's going on. So, the passion is back."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.