Jake recently had the pleasure of sitting down with former PNE striker Iain Hume, for the latest edition of From the Finney Meets…
Iain signed for North End in September 2010 on an initial three-month loan deal from fellow Championship side Barnsley. He made his debut against Norwich City in a 1-0 defeat, the result leaving Preston in 23rd place and on three points after seven games. The then 26-year-old was brought in with North End struggling to find the net, having scored just six goals in those seven Championship matches.
But Hume set about changing that statistic, scoring from 20 yards as Darren Ferguson’s men recorded their second win of the season in a 2-1 victory over Coventry a week later. The Canadian then added the final goal in a thrilling 6-4 win over Leeds United at Elland Road.
Hume’s loan was extended in mid-October with a view to a permanent deal in January, just days after Barnsley had announced their plans to bring the forward back to Oakwell. He netted a second-minute opener away at Bristol City in November before a Billy Jones own goal pegged the Lilywhites back to 1-1.
His next goal came in December, the only strike of a much-needed home win over Ipswich Town.
North End went into 2011 still rooted to the bottom of the table after a 3-1 home defeat to Middlesbrough – a game Hume missed. That was to be the last match in charge for Ferguson, who was sacked a day later.
His replacement was former Hull boss Phil Brown, and Hume, now a permanent North End player on a four-year contract, helped to mark the new era with a home point as he netted a 90th-minute equaliser against his former club, Leicester City.
The forward went on a goalscoring run later on in the season, scoring in three consecutive matches against Scunthorpe, Coventry and Swansea. North End would win all three as they continued to battle against relegation.
He then scored the opener in an eventual 1-1 draw with fellow strugglers Portsmouth in early April. Despite Hume’s best efforts as he finished as North End’s top scorer that season with 12 goals, despite not being at the club for the opening six games, Brown’s side were relegated at the season’s end.
The 2011-12 season started much more positively for PNE, winning seven of their first nine games in League One.
The striking partnership between Hume, Neil Mellor and Jamie Proctor played a vital part, as North End plundered a total of 21 goals in the seven match winning run.
Hume netted four of those, including a brace in a 4-3 win at Wycombe Wanderers in September. The following month, however, the Canadian suffered a back spasm which ruled him out of North End’s 1-0 defeat to Walsall. He then suffered a torn knee ligament at Huddersfield two games later, before again being ruled out in January with a torn hamstring.
Although Hume had an injury disrupted season, he returned in March and netted a brace against Exeter in a 2-1 win. His final goal of the season came in April with an 85th-minute opener against Stevenage, putting his tally up to nine for the season, although the hosts cancelled the strike out in stoppage time.
The following season, new boss Graham Westley surprisingly loaned Hume out to fellow League One side Doncaster Rovers.
The Canadian made 35 appearances for Donny, scoring seven goals and playing an important part in the club’s eventual promotion to the Championship, despite manager Dean Saunders leaving for Wolves midway through the season.
Hume returned to North End for the 2013/14 season under Simon Grayson. Following a 14th place finish the season before, PNE now had their sights on promotion from League One.
Whilst his game time was limited compared to previous seasons, Hume was still able to feature in and around the North End first team and he netted two goals in the first half of the campaign, including a late winner in a 1-0 victory at Notts County in October.
He was then loaned out to Graham Alexander’s Fleetwood Town in March and scored once in eight appearances as the Cod Army won promotion from League Two via the play-offs. He left North End in the summer and joined Kerala Blasters for the inaugural season of the Indian Super League.
He scored five goals as Kerala lost 1-0 in the final of the competition, and was awarded the league’s best player award for the first season.
After a brief spell with Tranmere Rovers, he signed for Atlético de Kolkata for the second Indian Super League season and finished second on the league golden boot charts with 11 goals. After two spells in Spain’s second division, Hume most recently appeared for Pune City in the 2018/19 edition of the ISL.
Iain Hume will be remembered as an important player for North End, a hard-working forward who contributed plenty of quality despite the club as a whole suffering relegation in his first season as a permanent player.
Had Hume and Mellor not suffered injury problems in PNE’s first season back in League One, the likelihood is that the side would have been pushing for the top spots in the division come the end of the season.
Disappointingly for North End fans, Hume spent 2012/13 away from Deepdale, when again he would likely have been an important player.
His achievements in India following his departure from North End have been excellent – no other footballer can claim to have won the best player award in the league’s inaugural season, and in one of the biggest countries in the world that is steadily growing as a footballing nation.
Hume still shares a good relationship with the PNE fans and had the ability to get them up off their seats with an excellent work rate and some top quality strikes in a North End shirt.
You can listen to both part 1 and part 2 of From the Finney Meets… Iain Hume right now. Just hit the play button on our web-players below or find us on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts from.
Part 1 –
Part 2 –