Boro host Preston at the Riverside tonight (7.45pm) in our third meeting this season. We look at some of our shared connections with this evening's opponents.
Jordan Hugill faced his former club in our league meeting at Deepdale back in November, and could feature for Boro tonight in another reunion with Preston.
The Teessider was a relative latecomer to the professional game, first carving out a career in non-league with the likes of Seaham Red Star, Consettm Whitby Town and Marske United. His big break in league football came under Micky Adams at Port Vale, but it was upon joining Preston that he made a name for himself at this level.
The striker signed for the Lilywhites in June 2014, scoring his first goal for the club against boyhood club Boro at the Riverside in the League Cup a few months later. After loan spells with Tranmere Rovers and a brief return to the North East with Hartlepool, Hugill’s North End career went from strength to strength, notching thirty goals in a little over a century of appearances for the Lancashire outfit. That convinced Premier League West Ham to come calling in January 2018 with a rumoured £10m transfer.
Andy Lonergan, currently on loan at Rochdale, is the other current Boro player with Preston past, having racked up 200 games with his boyhood club. Another glovesman, Connor Ripley, joined North End in a permanent transfer from Boro in January having spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Accrington Stanley, but has yet to make his debut for Alex Neil's side.
Preston were the third of four Lancashire clubs which Gary Parkinson would represent after his Boro days.
Thornaby-born Parky played more than 200 times for Boro in the late 80s and early 90s, winning successive promotions under Bruce Rioch and featuring for us in the inaugural Premier league a few years later.
He rejoined Rioch at Bolton in 1993 before a more successful spell with Burnley began in January 1994. On the eve of the 1997/98 season, the right-back moved to The Clarets’ fierce rivals Preston, where he would player more than 80 games over four years as North End returned to the second tier for the first time in two decades under the stewardship of David Moyes.
Despite being under six feet tall, McIlmoyle developed a reputation as one of the game’s best headers of the the ball, and forged a fruitful partnership leading Boro’s line with John Hickton.
The Scot would arrive at Boro in 1969 from Carlisle - a club where he remains a legend thanks to three successful spells there - but was Preston-bound two years later after scoring 19 times in 70 games. His stint at Preston also lasted two years, with ten further goals to his name in Lilywhites colours before heading north of the border to Greenock Morton.
Famous, perhaps infamous at the time, for being the first £1,000 footballer, Common was a calculated risk for a pre-war Boro side that needed goals.
And following his arrival from Sunderland, the marksman lived up to his clinical reputation, netting 65 for the club in a five-year stay.
A spell with Woolwich Arsenal followed before Common ended his career Preston, where he remained a consistent goalscorer right until the end of his playing days, holing the club to the Division Two title.
In 1998, Common was selected as one of 100 Football League Legends.
Playing just shy of a century of times for Preston, it was David Nugent’s goal-scoring form at Deepdale which earned him his sole England cap, where he scored for the Three Lions in a Euro 2008 qualifier against Andorra.
He made the short move from Bury to Preston in 2005 as North End missed out on a place in the Championship Play-Off final at the end of the 2004/05 campaign. Nugent then headed to the south coast to link up with Portsmouth, where he won the FA Cup, before a successful four-year spell with Leicester City.
After helping the Foxes to promotion to the Premier League, he did the same with Boro, scoring eight times after we clinched a place in the top flight. The striker is now plying his trade with promotion hopefuls Derby County.
Part of the 1966 England World Cup-winning team and a European Cup winner with Manchester United, Nobby Stiles had short spells with Boro and Preston after leaving Old Trafford having clocked up over 300 appearances.
He amassed over half a century of appearances for Boro before joining Preston and retired in 1975 after two seasons with North End. Stiles also operated in the dugout at Deepdale where he was in charge for four years.