Played for both: Preston North End
AFTER last weekend’s disappointing clash with Burnley, QPR are back on the road on Saturday as we prepare for a drive up the M6 to take on Preston North End.
Now, of course, the Rs travel to Deepdale (3pm KO) under the guidance of new head coach Neil Critchley for another crucial Sky Bet Championship clash.
Before meeting Ryan Lowe’s squad, let’s look at five personalities who have donned the jersey of both teams throughout their careers.
QPR 2008-12, Preston North End 2004-08
Kicking off this week is forward Patrick Agyemang, who would play a significant role for the Rs after arriving in W12 in January 2008.
After starting his career at Wimbledon, the Ghana international spent brief spells at Brentford and Gillingham before moving north to Preston North End in 2004.
Agyemang was a regular for the Lilywhites, 2005/06 was his outstanding season for North End but it ultimately ended in play-off heartbreak.
He made 122 appearances for Preston and scored 21 goals before moving to Loftus Road midway through the 2007/08 season and Agyemang taking off quickly under Italian coach Luigi De Canio.
An impressive 9 goals from 18 appearances, including a period in which he scored seven goals in his first five league games, saw the carefree R’s quickly move away from relegation danger and cement themselves in the Championship for another year.
Life in west London would get tougher for the international striker over the next few years, with injuries ultimately affecting the impact he would make in the blue and white baskets.
However, a memorable goal and assist at Pride Park early in the 2010/11 season would cement Rangers’ common law as Jamie Mackie would snatch a share of the points in dramatic fashion – dished up by the now 42-year-old.
Patrick also played in the Premier League for the R’s the following season, where he featured in our win over Everton at Goodison Park before enjoying loan spells from Loftus Road before leaving for Stevenage in 2012 after playing 75 games for Rangers contested and scored 15 goals.
He would like to work at Portsmouth, Dagenham & Redbridge, Baffins Milton Rovers and Cray Valley Paper Mills before hanging up his boots in 2018.
QPR 2003-10, Preston North End 1992, 1993-95, 2002
Winger Gareth Ainsworth needs no introduction to W12 audiences having become a popular figure in west London in the mid-2000s.
Ainsworth was born in Blackburn after being sacked from his youth club at a young age. He began his career with non-league club Northwich Victoria before moving to Preston North End in 1992. However, stints at Cambridge United and Northwich brought him back his Deepdale hiatus the following year.
Ainsworth played 82 games for the Lilywhites and scored 14 goals before leaving for Lincoln City in 1995.
But it was during his time at Port Vale that Ainsworth really stood out, winning his 1997/98 Player of the Year campaign and earning him a move to Premier League side Wimbledon.
He would return to Deepdale in 2002, this time on loan before briefly stints at Walsall and Cardiff City, but a move to QPR in 2003 would change Ainsworth’s career forever.
Initially under the stewardship of boss Ian Holloway, Ainsworth played a key role in our side that achieved promotion from the 2nd Division on the final day of the 2003/04 season before we could establish ourselves in the Championship a year later.
Injuries would eventually hamper his Rangers career, but an impressive 141 appearances in a blue and white striped jersey remained his best tally for any team in his career.
He worked under boss Luigi De Canio in 2007/08 and it was his time with the Italian boss that Ainsworth took his first steps into management.
Ainsworth, who was also twice caretaker boss, joined Wycombe Wanderers in 2010 to continue his sporting ambitions.
The 49-year-old has since established himself as a memorable figure at Adams Park, having helped see them nearly drop out of the Football League and take part in the league for the first time in club history.
Gareth was admitted to the Forever R’s Club, the association of former QPR players, managers and coaches, in 2016 as we honored his time in west London.
QPR 1993-97, Preston North End 2005-07
Local boy Danny Dichio eventually joined the R’s in 1991 as an apprentice before turning pro in 1993.
But it was the 1995/96 season that saw Dichio break through after Les Ferdinand’s recent departure.
Alongside Kevin Gallen, Dichio played 75 times for the R’s and scored 20 goals, including a memorable header against Bolton Wanderers early in the 1995/96 season which cemented his place in Rangers’ starting XI that year.
However, his goals that year would not be enough and the R’s were relegated from the top flight for the first time in 13 years.
Dichio eventually moved to Italy with stints at Sampdoria and Lecce before returning to England in 1998 with a move to Sunderland.
This was followed by stints at West Bromwich Albion, Derby County and Millwall before moving to Preston North End in 2005.
After a difficult first season at Deepdale, Dichio finally impressed with 9 goals in the 2006/07 season before joining MLS side Toronto in April 2007.
The former England Under-21 international ended his career with the newly formed Canadian club, scoring 14 goals in 59 appearances.
He has since coached Toronto FC and most recently Sacramento Republic.
QPR 2019-20, Preston North End 2014-18
Forward Jordan Hugill had come a long way in professional football before finally making his mark with Port Vale and then Preston North End.
Spells with no fewer than five non-league sides set him up for his spell at Port Vale and an impressive spell caught the attention of League One side Preston and, under the guidance of Simon Grayson Hugill, he eventually became a key figure for the Lilywhites.
In an impressive 2016/17 season, he scored 13 goals in 47 appearances as he finished as Preston’s top scorer, eventually earning him a move to Premier League side West Ham United.
Hugill would find it difficult to get minutes at London Stadium as he was loaned out at Middlesbrough during the 2018/19 season before joining QPR ahead of the 2019/20 season.
Hugill scored on his debut in our away game against Stoke City and never failed to impress for the Rs alongside Nahki Wells. This year he has scored 15 goals from his 41 appearances in the Blue and White Hoops as Mark Warburton’s side managed a play -off place missed .
He has since moved to Norwich City in 2020 where he continues to play for the Canaries but he has also enjoyed loan spells at West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff City.
QPR 2010, Preston North End 2008
Hungarian striker Tamás Priskin started his career with local club ETO FC Gyor, where his impressive goalscoring efforts saw him join Hertfordshire-based side Watford ahead of the 2006/07 season.
In a tough season for the Hornets, which saw them immediately relegated to the Premier League, Priskin was a bright light and when the youngster scored his first Premier League goal in April 2007 it ushered in a positive end to the season for the already relegated club a page.
The Hungary international made 68 appearances and scored 15 for Watford before joining Preston North End in 2008 to cement Preston’s play-off position.
By scoring against the R’s in a 2-2 draw in April of that year, it was one of just two goals he would win for the Lilywhites.
A successful spell at Ipswich Town followed and, while at Portman Road, the now 36-year-old moved to Loftus Road in January 2010 for the remainder of the 2009/10 season.
He played 13 games for the Super Hoops and scored once, which happened to result in a 2–2 draw with Preston North End in March 2010.
Streaks at Swansea City and Derby County would ultimately mark the end of his English football career as he would enjoy his stints at Alania Vladikavkaz, Austria Wien, Maccabi Haifa and Ferencváros whilst also returning to ETO FC Gyor for two more separate stints.