Some players have made themselves heroes at Preston over the years, but others haven’t been quite so successful.
There are sadly a number of players who arrived at Deepdale and left without making much of an impact, many of whom have been forgotten about.
We’ve dug up five players who signed for Preston but left without ever appearing for the club – some of the more forgettable additions over the years…
We will forgive you if you have no memory of this lad joining Preston. The Polish goalkeeper featured in Poland, Greece and Austria before joining Dundee United, where he became a cult hero. He was given the nickname ‘The Monk’ due to his resemblance to the character from Mean Machine, but then turned down a new deal in January 2008. With his six-month contract up, Preston swooped in to sign him in February 2008, with Alan Irvine adding him to the goalkeeping ranks. Yet having picked up a knee injury, Szamotulski left just months later without ever playing for the club. After moves to Israel, Scotland, Poland and Slovakia, Szamotulski retired in 2012 and is now goalkeeping coach at Zaglebie Lubin.
Fast forward to November 2011, and Phil Brown was in a rut. After a superb start in League One, North End slipped to taking just one point in seven games. Brown made a move to bring in new attackers; Jonathan Forte and Sam Hoskins, both arriving on loan from Southampton. Forte played just four times for Preston, but it’s four games more than Hoskins managed. The young attacker picked up an injury in training and left just a month later without ever being seen in a North End shirt. Now at Northampton Town in League Two, the 27-year-old has scored 11 goals this season.
The strangest story of the lot. Graham Westley pounced to sign Wright in the summer of 2012, adding him as part of a mass squad overhaul at Deepdale. As an ex-England international and former £6million Arsenal signing, this seemed like an important deal for Preston. Yet just a week into his time at the club, Wright stated that he was homesick and couldn’t handle being away from his family. Preston let him go, and where did Wright end up? Manchester City. After a trial spell with Colchester, near to his Ipswich roots, Wright signed for City, moving just 35 miles south of Preston. Wright spent four years with City and didn’t make an appearance for them either, but now works as a goalkeeping coach under Pep Guardiola.
Arguably the most forgettable of the lot. Graham Westley wanted goalkeeping cover in January 2013, and moved to sign Taylor following his exit from Southend United. Once highly regarded at Chelsea, Taylor has failed to make an impact at Southend, and it was more of the same at Preston. He was twice named on the bench by Westley, but never played for Preston before leaving to become Macclesfield Town’s first choice. Now playing for Bradford Park Avenue in non-league football at the age of 30.
In November 2014, Preston were facing an attacking nightmare. Jermaine Beckford had been brought in, but Joe Garner suffered a major injury and Aston Villa recalled Callum Robinson. Fans were hoping for a proven replacement, but North End instead took Bradley Fewster on loan from Middlesbrough. An England Under-19 international, Fewster was hoping to follow in Robinson’s footsteps, but ended up leaving for ‘personal reasons’ just two weeks later. Now 24, the attacker is playing for Whitby Town in non-league.