Boyhood Preston North End fans Rhys Williams could line up for Blackpool in today’s Lancashire derby at Bloomfield Road.

This may evoke memories of Preston-born Adam Nowland turning out for Blackpool and even scoring against PNE.

Williams joined Blackpool on loan from Liverpool over the summer but his move didn’t go down too well with their fans.

Williams has made little secret of his love for North End.


The 6ft 5in defender was born in Preston, grew up supporting PNE and even spent time in the North End youth ranks at a very young age.

When North End signed Cameron Archer earlier this year, Williams was straight in there asking him to score a few goals for the club.

Archer duly obliged, with his most memorable goal coming against Blackpool in a 1-0 win back in April.

Williams will now have to put aside his allegiances in an attempt to secure a result against North End for the Tangerines.

The 21-year-old made his return to the Blackpool starting lineup in midweek as he featured in a 3-1 home defeat to Hull City.

Blackpool v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship
Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Williams had missed three games with a shin injury but has returned to fitness ahead of this clash with his hometown club.

Marvin Ekpiteta – Blackpool’s leading centre back – is now back from suspension though and Michael Appleton must now decide whether to go with Williams and Ekpiteta or shuffle the pack.

These stories add some fascination to the game but it was hard not to notice the abuse Williams was getting from certain Blackpool fans over the summer.

We can only hope that no matter the result today, Williams can avoid that kind of reaction on Twitter.

Williams isn’t the first player to join the rivals of his boyhood club and he certainly won’t be the last, with the defender no doubt looking to show PNE what he’s all about this afternoon.

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Olly Dawes
Olly Dawes

Olly is an experienced football journalist. He spends his time tweeting about football, NFL, video games, FPL, and wrestling.

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