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banner Friday, 25 January, 2002, 15:14 GMT
North End's proud history
The 1889 team, known as the Invincibles, won the league and the FA Cup
The 1889 team that won the FA Cup and the league
BBC Sport Online's FA Cup spotlight has fallen on Preston North End. Paul Fletcher casts a glance over the club's proud - if somewhat ancient - cup glories.

Records are made to be broken but it will take a remarkable achievement to wrestle one in particular from Preston North End's proud grasp.

In 1887 the men from Deepdale thrashed Hyde 26-0 in an FA Cup first round game - a score that remains the highest for a competitive match in England

In fact a scan through the record books will reveal that Preston's finest FA Cup moments occurred ostensibly in the era of Dickens and Queen Victoria.

Preston won the FA Cup in 1889, becoming the first team ever to complete a league and cup double.

A 17-year-old Howard Kendall
Kendall signs autographs before the 1964 final
The Invincibles - as they became known - remain the only team ever to complete a league campaign unbeaten - though the season was only 22 games long.

Preston last won the cup in 1938 - the great Bill Shankly a member of the last side that beat Huddersfield 1-0.

It was the first cup final to be broadcast in its entirety on television and was settled by a George Mutch penalty in the last minute of extra time.

North End finished runners-up in 1888, 1922, 1937, 1954 and 1964.

Classic final

And the 1964 final remains Preston's last real taste of FA Cup glory.

The Lillywhites lost one of the all-time classic FA Cup finals, 3-2 to West Ham.

Preston's Howard Kendall, at 17-years of age, became the youngest ever FA Cup finalist - a record now held by Paul Allen.

Since then, Preston have never gone beyond the fifth round - though they could reach that stage again by beating Sheffield United on Saturday.

And the period since 1964 has been dominated as much by embarrassing first round failures as giant-killing exploits.

Preston North End captain Sean Gregan holds the FA Cup
Preston's Sean Gregan would love to lift the cup
Non-league Whitley Bay beat Preston 2-0 in 1989 and Kidderminster - then a non-league side - enjoyed a similar pleasure, beating their league opponents 1-0 in 1994.

In their quest to reach the Holy Grail of the third round Preston have also come up against the likes Chorley, Whitton Albion, Altrincham and Ford United.

However, the team's recent renaissance under the stewardship of David Moyes means Preston now enter the competition at the third round stage.

And the team has also shown signs that they could be capable of a big upset.

A full house at Deepdale in 1999 watched Division Two Preston race into a 2-0 lead against holders Arsenal, before a second-half comeback from the then Premiership champions saw them finish out worthy 4-2 winners.

The following year North End outplayed Everton at Goodison but somehow lost 2-0.

Further glories could lay ahead for the current team - if they can overcome Sheffield United on Saturday.

Links to more FA Cup stories are at the foot of the page.


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