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Chris Maxwell becomes an award-winner at Blackpool after Preston let him leave for nothing

A number of players over history have dared to turn out for both Preston and Blackpool.

The likes of Brett Ormerod, Ricardo Fuller, Tom Barkhuizen, Brad Potts, Alex Baptiste and David Eyres have played for both sides despite the bitter rivalry.

Nobody has quite achieved true ‘traitor’ status since Tony Ellis, and Simon Grayson even managed both Preston and Blackpool – twice in the case of the latter.

Blackpool now find themselves in the League One playoffs, and one of their men is a player Preston let go for absolutely nothing last year.

Goalkeeper Chris Maxwell joined North End from Fleetwood Town in 2016, quickly becoming first-choice goalkeeper before eventually falling behind Declan Rudd in the pecking order.

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In 2020, Preston decided to terminate Maxwell’s contract on January 24th, allowing him to join Blackpool for free, initially on a six-month deal before earning an extension.

We saw the best and worst of Maxwell at Preston. At his best he was a decent shot stopper, he could start attacks from the back and was happy to come off his line, earning the nickname ‘Maxwell Neuer’.

We also saw the worst of him though. An error against Derby County in 2018 saw Preston miss out on the playoffs, and a red card for two fouls against Ipswich Town later that year summed it up.

He was often rash, and when Preston released Maxwell, few really felt that North End were making a mistake.

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The Welshman is now settled up the road at Blackpool, making 50 appearances in all competitions having been given a key role by Neil Critchley.

Tangerine fans have been raving about Maxwell all season, and he has now won League One’s Golden Glove for keeping the most clean sheets; 21 in just 43 league outings.

One save against Sunderland really caught the eye, and he now has the chance to help fire Blackpool to promotion, teeing up meetings with Preston next season.

If that’s the case, Maxwell will surely be looking to prove North End wrong for letting him walk to our biggest rivals.

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