Retro: Preston North End's last-day meeting with Middlesbrough in April 1974 when the Charlton brothers were in opposite dug outs

Preston North End and Middlesbrough will do battle at Deepdale on Saturday as the curtain comes down on the regular Championship season.

By Dave Seddon
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 3:00 pm

It’s not the first time that the clubs have met on the final day of a season though, that happening in the 1973/74 campaign.

That was an unhappy afternoon for North End, the 4-2 defeat they suffered to Boro condemning them to relegation from the Second Division.

In contrast, Boro were already champions and their victory in the days of two points for a win saw them set a new points record for that level.

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Action from Preston North End's game against Middlesbrough at Deepdale in April 1974

A major sideshow of the occasion was brothers Bobby and Jackie Charlton being in opposite dugouts.

Bobby was manager of North End, with Jackie in charge of Boro.

There had been a huge amount of publicity earlier in the season ahead of the reverse fixture in the North East as the siblings prepared to manage against one another for the first time.

Things fell flat when the game was postponed due to the Ayresome Park pitch being covered in snow, it played 11 days later with Boro winning 3-0.

Preston North End concede a goal against Middlesbrough at Deepdale in April 1974

The contest at Deepdale was played on April 27, 1974, with North End as good as relegated but still in with the slimmest chance of staying up.

As it was, they were 3-0 down inside 26 minutes and left to face the steepest of uphill battles.

Boro took just six minutes to take the lead, Lilywhites keeper John Brown parried a shot from Alan Foggon and Peter Brine followed in to knock home the rebound.

A Middlesbrough player stretches for the ball against Preston North End at Deepdale in April 1974

They doubled their advantage with 20 minutes played when David Armstrong’s corner was flicked on by Brine and Foggon looped a header into the net.

It was 3-0 six minutes later, John Craggs crossing from the right-wing for John Hickton to head home.

PNE halved the deficit on the half-hour mark, Elwiss connecting with David Sadler’s flick on to score.

Ray Treacy saw a penalty saved by Jim Platt, before Elwiss scored again after a shot from Treacy had hit the bar.

Action from Preston North End's game against Middlesbrough at Deepdale in April 1974

Boro restored a two-goal cushion in the 52nd minute, David Mills’ cross headed home by Brine for his second of the afternoon.

PNE: Brown, McMahon, S Baxter, Bird, Spark, Morley, Hawkins, Burns, Sadler, Treacy, Elwiss. Sub (not used): Lamb.