Andy Lonergan


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1983 (35 years old)

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Preston, England


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6 ft 4 in (193 cm)






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Andrew "Andy" Lonergan (born 19 October 1983) is an English footballer who plays for Leeds United as a goalkeeper.

He is a former England U21 international and is also eligible to play for Republic of Ireland. After starting his career at Preston North End, Lonergan soon established himself as a first choice goalkeeper and won Preston's player of the year award in both the 2008–09 and 2009–10 seasons.

Born in Preston, Lancashire, Lonergan grew up supporting Preston North End. Lonergan joined Blackburn Rovers’ academy after spotted at a young age, beating off competition at Manchester United and Everton. His time at Blackburn Rovers was short–lived when he joined Preston North End, where he started his professional career there. At age nine, Lonergan began taking interests of becoming a goalkeeper, a position he played today.

After attending St. Cecilia's RC Technology College (now St. Cecilia's RC High School), Lonergan progressed through the Youth Training Scheme and was offered a professional terms by Preston North End in the 2000–01 season. Lonergan then made his Preston debut managed by David Moyes as a 16-year-old in a League Cup tie away at Coventry City. However, Lonergan made an impression on his debut despite conceding four goals, as Preston North End lost 4–1. Despite this, Lonergan went on to win the Young Player Of The Year for the 2000–01 season.

With his progress being closely monitored by the goalkeeping coach, Peter Williams, he was sent out on loan to Darlington on 21 December 2002. After making his debut against Macclesfield Town on 21 December 2002 However, Lonergan’s loan spell at Darlington ended after a week after picking up an injury. After recovering from an injury, Preston then sent him out on loan to rivals Blackpool.

With David Moyes leaving to join Everton and Craig Brown entering the managerial fray at Deepdale, Lonergan remained optimistic about his future at the club; indeed, he was promoted to the first-team squad for the final stage of the 2002–03 season as an understudy to Scotland international Jonathan Gould. With Gould out injured for a period of the following season, Lonergan snapped up his goalkeeping gloves and stood between the sticks for the first time in the league against West Brom, two years after his debut. Gould fell out of favour soon after, and Lonergan remained as the first choice until the end of that season. But this was short–lived when Lonergan lost his first team place after breaking hand, resulting him out for six weeks and missing out for the rest of the season. After returning to training in the pre–season, Lonergan returned to the first team as a first choice goalkeeper and on 2 October 2004 Lonergan scored a goal from his own penalty area in the 39th minute against Leicester City to equalise, after his long kick bounced over Leicester goalkeeper Kevin Pressman after defender Matt Heath had let the ball bounce. The game ended in a 1–1 draw. He remained at Deepdale for the 2004–05 season under the watchful eye of new manager Billy Davies, and played a part in 65% of the season before he ruptured his cruciate ligaments before a game against Ipswich Town, due to Lonergan's injury, Carlo Nash was signed as a replacement by Billy Davies from Middlesbrough to shore up the goalkeeping crisis. It wasn’t the first time Lonergan suffered an injury: he broke his hand during training.

After a long spell out injured with the injury it took Lonergan over two years to gain back his place. Nash kept his place for the 2005–06 term and kept a club record of over 30 clean sheets. Lonergan himself was injured in training early in 2005, and returned to training in early–September. As a result, Lonergan only returned to action with a loan spell to get himself match fit in late 2005 at Wycombe Wanderers. Lonergan made his Wycombe Wanderers debut on 7 October 2005, where he kept a clean sheet, in a 1–0 win over Grimsby Town and kept another clean sheet on his second appearance on 15 October 2005, in a 0–0 draw against Rushden & Diamonds. However, he returned to his parent club after injuring himself in training once again, due to a screw holding his ligament in place snapping. After returning to his parent club, Lonergan undergone surgery for the second time and was sidelined for eight months.

On 2 November 2006, Lonergan joined Swindon Town on a one-month loan contract to gain first-team football. He made his Swindon Town debut on 4 November 2006, in a 2–1 loss against Hereford United and was praised after the match. He returned early, however, after he wasn't given the football he desired under new Swindon Manager Paul Sturrock who had just replaced Dennis Wise.

After signing a three–year contract, keeping him until 2011, Lonergan returned to the Preston bench until January 2007, when Nash's unprofessional attitude meant a recall to the first team for Lonergan in an FA Cup Fourth round tie at Crystal Palace in which he impressed with a clean sheet in a 2–0 victory for Preston. Lonergan then made an impressive save in the local derby, in a 2–0 win over Burnley on 19 March 2007. Longeran went on to established himself as a first choice goalkeeper in the 2006–07 season and made thirteen appearance for the club.

In the 2007–08 season, Lonergan appeared as a substitute bench for the first three matches at the start of the season after Wayne Henderson became a first choice goalkeeper. Lonergan regained his first choice back following Henderson’s injury and made his first appearance of the season, in a 2–1 loss against Coventry City on 1 September 2007. From that moment on, Lonergan made 43 appearance in the 2007–08 season and helped the club finished 15th in the Championship.

In the 2008–09 season, Lonergan continued to regain his first choice goalkeeper status and played all 46 league matches throughout the season. Lonergan also helped the club finished sixth place in the league, qualifying for the Championship play–offs, but were unsuccessful. For his performance, Lonergan won Preston's 2008/09 player of the year award.

After Preston North End club captain, Paul McKenna was sold to Nottingham Forest in August 2009, Lonergan was made a vice-captain to new club captain, Callum Davidson. Lonergan's first match which he started as captain was at Deepdale, where he led Preston North End out to win 2–0 against Swansea City on 12 September 2009. Manager, Alan Irvine claimed that he believed Lonergan was good enough to play for England.

He had a fine season during the 2009–10 season, and won Preston's player of the year award. During the last few games of the season Preston managed to overcome an inferior goal difference to playoff rivals Cardiff City by beating them 6–0, with Lonergan also saving a penalty in the same game which in the end proved vital on goal difference for the final table result to overtake Cardiff and reach the playoffs. Lonergan played a big part in helping Preston reach the playoff Semi-finals during the 2009–10 season but lost over two legs to Sheffield United. During the summer Premier League club West Bromwich Albion had three separate bids rejected for Lonergan, with Preston manager Darren Ferguson claiming he valued Lonergan at £20 million and that he didn't want to sell him.

Lonergan was the goalkeeper for Preston during the 2010–11 season as they were relegated to League One making 29 league starts. In September 2010, Lonergan was charged for making obscene gestures to fierce-rivals Burnley's supporters during Preston's 4–3 loss. Lonergan was fined for the incident and warned of his future conduct. In the same month Lonergan also played in one of the games of the season in Preston's 6–4 win against Leeds United, with Preston coming back to win the game after being 4–1 down. He was linked with moves to Manchester City and Wigan Athletic in the January transfer window. Lonergan claimed in January that he was the most overworked goalkeeper in the Championship. However, during the last quarter of the season under new manager Phil Brown, Lonergan was displaced by Everton loan goalkeeper Iain Turner. Lonergan also spent time training with Everton as part of the loan deal for Turner. Lonergan was linked with a loan move to Blackpool F.C. during February on an emergency loan due to injuries to Paul Rachubka and Richard Kingson. Lonergan's last appearance for Preston came in Preston's 2–1 loss against Leeds United on 8 March 2011. After relegation from the Championship Lonergan was linked with moves to Aston Villa, Cardiff City, and Everton. Manager, Phil Brown revealed he needed to sell Lonergan to re-sign loan goalkeeper Iain Turner due to lack of funds.

On 4 July 2011, Lonergan was linked with a move to join Leeds United in order to replace Kasper Schmeichel and Shane Higgs who had both left the club. Everton also entered the race to sign Lonergan.

Preston North End manager Phil Brown confirmed in early July 2011 that Andy Lonergan was set to sign for Leeds United, live on talkSPORT. Sky Sports reported 25 July that Lonergan was set to sign for Leeds United, after the move was originally put on hold for both parties as Leeds became interested in signing David Stockdale and Lonergan was interesting Premier League Club Everton. Lonergan's daughter was also in hospital at this time delaying the move further. In total Lonergan made 231 appearances during his career at Preston North End.

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