RIP Graham Hawkins 1946-2016
It is with sadness that we have to report the passing away of former Preston North End captain, Graham Hawkins. He finally succumbed to non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a blood related cancer, on Tuesday 27th September 2016. Graham, aged 70, had been bravely battling against it since being diagnosed in 2009.
Blond-haired Graham was an apprentice with Wolverhampton Wanderers prior to turning professional with them in 1963. In early January 1968 he was transferred to Preston North End for £35,000, money well spent. However, he had a North End debut to forget, receiving a pulled hamstring after just six minutes into the game at Queens Park Rangers.
Once he regained full fitness he went on to serve the Deepdale club for six years, usually at centre-half, but briefly during the 1969-1970 season, as a makeshift centre-forward. Graham was someone to look up to for the younger players at the club, respected by his team mates too as he never gave less than 100% effort. The inspirational leader was an ever-present under manager Alan Ball as the club won the Third Division championship in 1971.
By June 1974 he had signed for near-neighbours, Blackburn Rovers for £18,000 and with whom he won another Third Division championship medal.
In 1969, as a North Ender, Graham was selected to tour the Far East with the F.A. Touring party. He played in all seven games.
Our thoughts go out to his family and many friends.
Ian Rigby PNE FPA.
Read our former players' feature on Graham Hawkins