Ten years on from Nugent’s big night

David Nugent celebrates his England goal with John Terry and Rio Ferdinand
David Nugent celebrates his England goal with John Terry and Rio Ferdinand
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One cap and one goal scored from one inch out – today is the 10th anniversary of David Nugent writing a footnote in the England history books.

The then-Preston striker came off the bench to score for England in their 3-0 win over Andorra in Barcelona.

Nugent re-enacted his goal the next day for the Lancashire Post

Nugent re-enacted his goal the next day for the Lancashire Post

To call it a poacher’s goal was an understatement, a shot from Jermain Defoe having the sting taken out of it by Andorra keeper Koldo Alvarez.

As the ball rolled towards the net, there was Nugent to supply the last touch almost on the line.

Joining the action as a 73rd-minute substitute, 
Nugent had become the first Preston player since Sir Tom Finney to play for England.

Nugent’s goal saw him join a club of ‘one cap, one goal’ England players, Bill Nicholson, Francis Jeffers, Danny Wallace and Paul Goddard among them.

He was the first player from outside of the Premier League for eight years to play for England in a tournament qualifier.

Interviewed post-match, Nugent said: “I didn’t hesitate with it.

“I only had 15 minutes on the pitch and had missed a chance earlier.

“It was a proper striker’s goal, the thing of dreams.

“To score on my England debut while playing in the Championship was unbelievable.

“To pull on the England shirt at the age of 21 and score, even from about two inches out, was a special feeling.”

Nugent was in the squad on the back of scoring 16 goals for PNE that season, an injury to Darren Bent opening the door to Steve McClaren’s squad.

He did not get another chance with the full England squad, a place in a ‘B’ squad against Albania at Burnley and call-ups to the Under-21s as good as it got.

There was no rest for the striker after his England goal.

He was back at Springfields the following day, re-enacting the goal for the benefit of the media.

And on the Friday night, Nugent played in North End’s televised 2-1 defeat to Leeds, squandering a one-on-one in the Elland Road clash.

At the end of that season, with PNE having missed out on the play-offs, he made a £6m move to Portmouth, one which did not really work out.

He has since played for Burnley (loan), Leicester City, Middlesbrough and Derby.

His £2m January move to Derby saw him temporarily reunited with McClaren, the man who capped him a decade earlier.