Preston est un des clubs fondateurs du championnat anglais en 1888 et le premier champion dAngleterre de l'histoire. In the interests of public safety, the number of spectators allowed to see these games was limited to 8,000. Liverpool was our headquarters, you know, and our registered offices were there.
Preston were in the Second Division and the general standard of football was not the best, but here was a magic and a mystery about James that mesmerised me.The man behind Preston's capture of James was chairman Jim Taylor, who later signed me and went on to play a major part in my early career.The son of a railwayman and a native of North Lanarkshire, Alex James was a steelworker when his football talents were first spotted by Raith Rovers in the year of my birth. Lying deeper than conventional inside forwards, he would spring Arsenal’s rapid breakaways from defence — a tactic that earned them the tag “lucky Arsenal” from disgruntled opposing fans who had frequently seen their team dominate territorially for no tangible reward.
They also formed a rugby team at this time. His arrival did not go unnoticed in the press. Few claimants met the criteria; most survived thanks only to family and friends.In some areas of Lancashire, unemployment topped the 25% mark.  Representing the first fully professional football competition in the world the league saw its early years dominated by teams from the North and Midlands, where professionalism was embraced more readily than in the South. At the end of the 1888–89 season, Preston North End were the first club to be crowned champions after completing their fixtures unbeaten. Preston were always well served with 'spies' in Scotland and while his short stature and dubious temperament caused a few potential buyers to dither, Jim Taylor was more bullish. However, by the time the final took place, the "Phoney War" had come to an end. Il est le seul club à avoir réalisé cette performance, bien qu'Au cours des années suivantes, le club améliore progressivement les installations de C'est ainsi que se forment les « invincibles » majoritairement recrutés en Écosse comme Ces deux titres en championnat restent à ce jour ses deux seuls titres de champion d'Angleterre. He made his debut against newly promoted Hull City on Saturday 9 December. Once you got hold of the ball, you didn't let it go too easily. Hilarious mayhem ensued.
 We finished as Northern Section champions, which was some achievement considering the fact that we had struggled at the wrong end of the First Division up to war being declared.One thing on which all who played with or against Tom Finney agree is that, in addition to all his skill, he never lacked courage. On the odd occasion when I was able to watch a game at Deepdale, sometimes sneaking under the turnstiles when the chap on duty was distracted, I was in awe of James. Men in flat caps, women in large hats, small children skipping along, processed to the Deepdale ground, so that later they could tell their own children, 'I was there when we played football by searchlight! But the secretary, John Cameron, has gone to London and Bell the chairman will not, as far as I know, play for anybody. Cela lui vaut alors le surnom d’« invincibles ». That's where I first learned about close control and dribbling.It was a world of make-believe - were children more imaginative in those days? 'The Ladies too, were excited, all of a fluster and a giggle. Unemployment in Preston, even though it hit an all-time high, may not have been as bad as some parts of Lancashire, like Mersyside and Blackburn, but there were still more than 15% on the dole...Shankly was as aware as anyone of the problems of unemployment: he'd seen it all before. Eighteen wins and four draws gave them a 11 point lead at the top of the table. Once he was in the side, he was there to stay and undoubtedly became an important influence on Preston's promotion challenge.The first club to benefit from a youth policy to any marked degree was Preston North End, who owed success in 1940-41 to their exceptional pre-war structure. By being James, I became more confident in my own game. Picture it - on the touchline was the famous Bob Holmes whom I've mentioned before, throwing whitewashed balls on to the pitch, in the stands were scores of big lusty Lancashire lasses with their husbands, doubled up with laughter, and on the pitch were Lily and Alice and the others, wondering what damage they could do in the darkness.
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