We didn’t expect to be writing about a Bamber Bridge player scoring for Preston today, but here we are – well played, Jamie Thomas.
North End have been facing Accrington Stanley in a pre-season friendly this afternoon as the preparations for the new Championship season continue.
Preston announced a trialist in the squad before the game, with fans getting giddy thinking Wilfried Bony was about to turn out for North End.
In the end, the identity of the trialist was revealed as Jamie Thomas, who currently turns out for Bamber Bridge – a far cry from former Manchester City striker Bony.
Thomas, 24, not only came on at half time for Preston, but then found himself on the scoresheet in a quite remarkable story.
Thomas gave Preston the lead in the second half, heading in the opener to cap off an amazing day for the playmaker.
Preston will soon have to decide whether they want to sign Thomas permanently or not, but many will still be wondering – just who is Jamie Thomas?!
Born in Blackpool, Thomas had stints with the Tangerines, Bolton Wanderers and Burnley before dropping out of professional football.
Thomas has cited his anxiety and depression as a factor, and began the climb back up the leagues with Squires Gate and AFC Blackpool.
Thomas only signed for Bamber Bridge last month, but buried not one but two superb goals against Preston in a pre-season friendly earlier this month.
North End were seemingly impressed and decided to take Thomas on trial for today’s game, and he has put himself right in contention for a stunning Championship contact in a real Roy of the Rovers story.
With Izzy Brown now out of action until 2022, Preston may be in the market for another player who can feature as a number 10 or striker – and Thomas can do that.
A former Welsh youth international, Thomas clearly has talent – as seen in the videos below – but had fallen away from the game in recent years before finding his way to Preston.
It may be a flash in the pan, it may be a long-term thing, but you have to appreciate the journey Thomas has been on and his unexpected goal for North End this afternoon.