The story of Alex Neil and Jordan Hugill's trainers

Preston North End manager Alex Neil (right) shares a joke with kit man Steve Cowell whilst wearing a

Preston North End kitman Steve Cowell (left) has revealed that Alex Neil wore Jordan Hugill's trainers during his first day as Preston boss. - Credit: PA

When Alex Neil arrived at Deepdale to become Preston North End manager, he noticed one thing missing; his trainers. 

The Scot made a schoolboy error on his trip up to the north-west and forgot to pack a pair of comfortable shoes to take training in. As North End's kitman Steve Cowell recalls, there was a real scramble to find a pair for the former Norwich City boss.

Cowell ended up taking a pair from former Preston striker Stevie May, and happened to be unknowingly handing Neil a pair of Jordan Hugill's trainers. The now City player has responded to the story via social media claiming that Neil was wearing his trainers during the pair's first meeting.

Recalling the story in an interview with Lancashire Live, Cowell says: "I was the first person Alex met," said Cowell. "It was about 5pm, I was the last one left washing kit.

"On his first day, he had no trainers because he'd left them in Norwich, so I asked what size he was and he said size nine - so I went into the dressing room and asked Stevie May if there were any knocking around.

"He was a real practical joker and gave me a pair that were on the side - an hour or so later when the players were in I'm walking down the corridor and hear this shout: 'Where the hell is the kit man?'

"It was Jordan Hugill, I'd give the gaffer his trainers and so I had to go and get them back off him and peg it down to Sports Direct to get him a new pair."

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