• Gordon Coleman

  • 1976/77 Gordon Colman front row, third from right

    Gordon Coleman PNE
  • Ian Cochrane and Gordon Coleman

    Gordon Coleman PNE
  • Gordon Coleman 1973-1983

    Gordon Coleman PNE
  • Gordon Coleman 13th March 1976

    Gordon Coleman PNE
  • Gordon Coleman

    Gordon Coleman PNE
  • Gordon Coleman 21st August 1982

    Gordon Coleman PNE
  • Former Captain of Preston North End joins the PNE Former Players' Committee.

  • Nottingham-born Gordon Coleman supported Nottingham Forest as a boy and was destined to work for that Club in his later life. Gordon, a dab hand at most sports, had represented the County of Nottingham at cricket, at schoolboy level, but he stopped playing football at the age of eleven. That was because he was academically clever enough to go to his local grammar school, where, to his disappointment, they only played rugby, which he still enjoyed. He was to miss five years of playing with the round ball until he took up the game once more, playing locally in Nottingham, for Padstow Youth Club. Gordon, who was set to go to Teacher Training College, having gained 7 'O' levels and 2 'A' levels, was recommended to Preston North End's Chief Scout, Peter Robinson, by former Forest player, Tommy Capel, a former team mate of Robinson's at Manchester City and Chesterfield.

  • Coleman Arrives In Preston

    Gordon came to Preston for a six-week training course during the summer months of 1973, living in North End's Moor Park Hostel during his stay. He did so well that Preston North End's manager, Bobby Charlton, offered him a one-year contract, which he accepted. Once Gordon had signed professionally he went to live in 'digs' with Eric Snookes. After just two Central League games with the reserves, 19-year-old Gordon was pitched into the thick of the action, making his League debut, at Deepdale, against West Bromwich Albion.[1st October 1973]. With seasoned professionals such as Nobby Stiles on his side and Asa Hartford against him, Gordon soon found out what was required of him at that level. Over the next couple of years Gordon was bound to gain more experience, playing with such players as World Cup winners Bobby Charlton and Nobby Stiles, as well as seasoned campaigners such as David Sadler, Francis Burns, John Bird and Graham Hawkins. With the likes of Mike Elwiss and Alex Bruce, Gordon was instrumental in helping Preston North End out of the old Third Division, season 1977-78. Gordon was never the official 'Player of the Year' at Deepdale but has been described as a 'player's player', one of the best professionals the Club has employed over the years. He played in every shirt number, except number one, during his ten year stay at Deepdale, but having said that he reliably informs me that he was pencilled in to be substitute 'keeper if Roy Tunks had got injured during a game! Having played in so many positions he preferred the right-side of midfield spot as that was the place he enjoyed more freedom on the pitch. In all, Gordon played 310 games for Preston North End, scoring 31 goals. His most memorable goal was at Deepdale against the old enemy, Blackpool in an FA cup tie. His first attempt had been scrambled away from the goal line only for the ball to loop into the air. Meanwhile, Gordon had been bawled over and was sitting on his backside when the ball dropped fortuitously for him. He somehow got the strength to nod the ball over keeper Hesford and defender Pashley whilst still sat down.

  • Gordon Departs Deepdale

    A niggling back injury began to limit Gordon's appearances and in August 1983 he left Deepdale and joined Jim Iley's Shakers at Bury FC on a free transfer. During his last three seasons at Preston, Gordon had been working towards his future, taking a degree course on the Open University, in Social Psychology. He finished the course whilst at Bury, where he stayed for just the one season. Gordon can proudly say that he was never suspended throughout his professional football career. After 29 league games with the Gigg Lane club he retired from being a professional footballer and gained employment with Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council as he was now qualified for "jobs in the leisure industry". Over the coming months he also played part time football for Morecambe FC. , playing just nine times for 'The Shrimps'. Within eighteen months of retiring from playing football Gordon had become manager at Kimberley Leisure Centre in Nottingham. Not satisfied with the qualifications he had achieved he then attended the Nottingham Trent University, where he further achieved his Post Graduate Certificate in Education and a Masters Degree in Business. Gordon's next job was working for the PFA {Professional Footballers Association}, for five years, setting up 'Football in the Community' Departments at different football clubs around the country. Gordon then 'went home', becoming a Director of Community at Nottingham Forest Football Club. Upon his retirement, a few months ago, Gordon came back to live in the Preston area and has shown an interest in his first club, Preston North End, by joining the PNE Former Players' Association committee. His contacts in the game, at all levels, should be beneficial to the Association in the years to come. There is an old saying in the bible (Genesis 40-41) that "You can't keep a good man down". With that in mind, Gordon hasn't put his feet up just yet, as he is a part-time tutor on a Football Scholarship project.

  • Words by Ian Rigby.