Joe is a history maker!

Former Moorland School pupil Joe Grayson, the son of former Preston North End boss Simon, has claimed a place in the Ewood Park record books.
Joe Grayson (left) and former Preston North End boss Simon GraysonJoe Grayson (left) and former Preston North End boss Simon Grayson
Joe Grayson (left) and former Preston North End boss Simon Grayson

The 19-year-old recently made his debut for Blackburn Rovers in their Carabao Cup win against Lincoln City.

And that saw the Graysons become the first father and son pairing to represent the Championship club for 89 years.

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But Grayson senior, who had a three-year stint at Rovers and led North End to promotion via a Wembley play-off final in 2015, admits seeing his son’s professional bow gave him the collywobbles.

“I’ve managed for 13 years and played in the Premier League, so I know a bit about pressure, but I’ve never been so nervous before a game,” said proud father Simon.

“It is a big day for any dad when he sees his son play his first professional game and naturally you want to see him do well.

“It was a strange feeling sat in the stand, though, because when you’re a manager you can control the destiny of a match to a certain extent, by a tactical switch or with advice.

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“But looking down at the game watching Joe then it felt a completely different experience indeed.”

Grayson senior added: “Joe’s been around football all his life, coming to matches with me, seeing how a dressing room works, so he is used to that environment.

“He is hungry to learn, has a very good work ethic and is keen to improve every day.

“Joe knows the hard work needed to succeed and this is just the start for him.

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“I’m very proud of him and I just want to see him be happy in what he does.”

Joe is a product of the Moorland School Football Academy and signed scholarship forms for Blackburn at 15 while still studying at the Clitheroe School.

“Joe had a very good grounding at Moorland under the coach, Charlie Jackson, and it was a very influential time for him there,” added Grayson senior.

Moorland School spokesman Carl Lightbown said: “Everybody at Moorland and at the Moorland Academy are thrilled for Joe.

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“It is a testament that Joe is held in high esteem by Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray and shows the progress he has made since leaving Moorland following his GCSE results.

“Joe has already received rave reviews for his performance, and the fact that he played 90 minutes supports how well he played.”

Rovers boss Tony Mowbray said: “It was a really difficult game for me to put Joe in.

“Matt Rhead at Lincoln is a big centre forward, a monster of a man, who can make things very difficult for defenders, but Joe coped well.

“It’s a game that Joe will remember for the rest of his life and thankfully he can say that the team won on his debut.”