Eddie Quigley, Preston North End

Eddie Quigley, Preston North End

What do Neymar and Eddie Quigley have in common? Both have held the World Record Transfer record at one time.

The Brazilian forward was transferred from Barcelona to Paris St Germain for £198 million in the summer of 2017. Quigley, a burly Lancastrian, cost a more modest £26,500 when he moved, from Sheffield Wednesday to Preston North End, for a then World Record Transfer fee in December 1949.

Quigley, who was equally at home as an inside or centre-forward, possessed subtle passing skills, an ability to drift away from his marker by dropping deep to collect the ball and a fine eye for a goal.

Originally a full-back with his hometown side Bury, Quigley was moved permanently up front when he scored five against Millwall after being pushed forward in an emergency situation.

Bury sold Quigley to Sheffield Wednesday for £12,000 in October 1947. He soon became a firm favourite amongst the Hillsborough faithful after scoring twice at Elland Road in a 2-2 draw against Leeds United. He netted 22 goals, including four against WHU, in 30 League games for Wednesday in 1947/48 and followed that up by hitting home 17 more in 34 games in 1948/49.

Quigley had netted ten goals, including four in one match against Chesterfield, in ten matches in 1949/50 when their promotion rivals Preston North End persuaded Sheffield Wednesday to let Quigley move to Deepdale for £26,500. Preston manager Will Scott hoped to create a stylish goal-scoring partnership between Quigley and Tom Finney, Preston’s greatest ever player.

Preston finished in sixth place in Division Two at the end of the 1949/50 season and won promotion the following season by finishing five points in front of second placed Manchester City. Preston also finished as top scorers in Division Two with 91 goals with Charlie Wayman scoring 27. Wayman joined Preston in September 1950 for £10,000 from Southampton. His success led to Quigley’s departure, for a £20,000 fee, to Second Division Blackburn Rovers in 1951.

At Ewood Park, Quigley, born in 1921, developed into a top goalscorer and he was to net 95 goals in 166 League and FA Cup matches for Rovers by the time he returned to Gigg Lane in the summer of 1956.

In November 1954, Blackburn, by then managed by Johnny Carey, thrashed Middlesbrough 9-0 at Ewood Park and Quigley scored three times. Rovers cracked home 114 goals in 42 League matches in 1954-55. Quigley scored 28 but was beaten by his centre-forward colleague Tommy Briggs with 33 including seven in one match against Bristol Rovers. Despite the heroics the East Lancs side failed to win promotion.

After Blackburn, Quigley dropped into non-League football to manager Mossley and then returned to Bury for a third time as youth team coach and chief scout, unearthing talents such as England internationals Colin Bell and Alec Lindsay. He then briefly managed Stockport County in 1966 before becoming chief coach and assistant manager at Ewood Park. He subsequently took over in charge of first team affairs but after Rovers failed to gain promotion to Division One he was, after being demoted to assistant manager, sacked at the end of the 1970-71 season as Blackburn fell into the Third Division.

Quigley again became manager at Ewood Park in the mid 70s but he was sacked in 1977 and thereafter he went on to scout for Blackburn and Blackpool before he retired in the early 80s. He died in Blackpool on 18 April 1997.

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