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PRESTON NORTH END THE SEVENTIES

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The Seventies would see four managers - Alan Ball Snr, Bobby Charlton, Harry Catterick and Nobby Stiles - try their luck at lifting Preston North End out of the ever gathering football gloom. Both Ball and Stiles achieved a promotion from Division Three to Division Two, but it was Stiles who went on to deliver North End's highest league standing since the Sixties with a seventh position finish at the end of 1978/79. Ball was sacked after almost three years at the helm, causing fan protests at what they perceived as poor treatment from the board. Charlton sensationally resigned his post after two years, after the board went ahead against his wishes with the sale of first team captain John Bird to Newcastle United. During all this very public turmoil, a raft of extremely talented young players were developed and could no doubt have taken North End to places they hadn't seen for many years had they not been transferred for a yield at the earliest opportunity. Amongst it all there were some great and exciting performances during the decade that live long in the memory, none better than the period when Mike Elwiss and Alex Bruce reigned supreme and were arguably North End's best goal scoring partnership in modern times. The book charts the full decade, beginning with promotion from Division Three under Ball in 1970/71, and concludes with North End's 10th place finish in Division Two in 1979/80 under Stiles, against the backdrop of each manager trying to work with a resolute board operating a selling policy.

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