Spot-fix probe affected PNE star Buchanan

Preston North End's Paul Gallagher celebrates scoring his side's first goal
Preston North End's Paul Gallagher celebrates scoring his side's first goal
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Preston North End left back David Buchanan has broken his silence over the ‘spot-fixing’ allegations that tarnished his name and rocked the club last season.

Buchanan, Keith Keane, Bailey Wright, club captain John Welsh, Ben Davies and former North End player Graham Cummins were all arrested last April.

But the six were cleared by the National Crime Agency earlier this month.

Buchanan told the Evening Post about the difficult ordeal and his shock at being arrested at home in front of his family..

He said: “It is a relief for all the players involved.

“I’m not going to lie, for me personally it was difficult time for myself and my family.

“I was dumfounded. It’s not nice when 10 police officers come through your front door when your kids and your wife are there.

“I’ve never been in trouble with the police before, it is the first time it has ever happened.

“I knew I was innocent, so did all the other players.”

Buchanan thanked the club for their support and hopes the players can move on and seal promotion to the Championship.

He said: “At the time it did have a big effect.

“But people at this football club have backed us 100%.

“The manager, the owner, everyone behind the scenes. Everyday they all backed us and they still played us.

“The truth has come out in the end.

“We are just glad it is all over and we can concentrate on our careers and getting this club promoted.”

The defender returned to the starting XI for PNE’s 1-1 FA Cup fourth round draw against Sheffield United on Saturday.

After being booed off at Deepdale for two disappointing draws against League One strugglers Leyton Orient and Yeovil, the 28-year-old praised the fans for their support.

But the left back bemoaned PNE’s lack of luck.

He said: “Sometimes it is the luck of the draw the way it has gone.

“I thought we were good on Saturday. I thought first half we closed them down, got the ball switched it wide and tried to pick up second balls and really pressed them.

“We got the goal through that pressure, a great free-kick by Paul Gallagher.

“We just needed that second one to put it to bed but it didn’t come.

“I think there was a foul on Paul Huntington before Sheffield got the free-kick.

“The referee didn’t give it. He let them take a quick free-kick and Diego De Girolamo equalises from it.

“But we have to switch on to that.

“ It was a bit of a sucker punch.

“When you win eight on the trot that curling shot from Gally goes in, the flick from Tom Clarke goes in the back of the net – but those little things just aren’t falling for us.

“But we are moving in the right direction now and it was great to see the fans there with us every step of the way.”

PNE will now have to travel to their ‘hoodoo’ ground Bramall Lane a week on Tuesday to try and seal a place in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

And Buchanan believes lower league sides deserve more credit after PNE’s fellow third tier outfit Bradford City dumped Premier League title contenders Chelsea out of the cup.

He said: “We still want to be in the best competition in the world, the FA Cup.

“League Two club Cambridge United held Manchester United to a draw and Chelsea were beaten at home by Bradford City.

“That must be one of the biggest shocks in football.

“It just goes to show at our level people play good football. The standard of football is good, we have got some top quality players.

“Sometimes people don’t give League One and League Two enough credit.

“You can see that from our game against Sheffield, there were a lot of good players on the pitch.”