• Mike Elwiss, Preston North End

  • Mike Elwiss in action.

    Mike Elwiss PNE
  • Mike Elwiss in action.

    Mike Elwiss PNE
  • Mike Elwiss in action.

    Mike Elwiss PNE
  • Mike Elwiss in action.

    Mike Elwiss PNE
  • Mike Elwiss in action.

    Mike Elwiss PNE
  • Mike Elwiss in action.

    Mike Elwiss PNE
  • Mike Elwiss representing the PNE Former Players Association at Cricket.

    Mike Elwiss PNE
  • Mike Elwiss (back row, far right) at an early Sportsman's Dinner.

    Mike Elwiss PNE
  • Mike Elwiss with Alex Bruce, Pete Sayer and Graham Houston at the last Sportsman's Dinner.

    Mike Elwiss PNE
  • Doncaster-born Mike Elwiss was, without a shadow of doubt, Bobby Charlton's best signing whilst the former Manchester United & England star was manager of Preston North End.

  • Preston North End Former Player Mike ElwissMike, as a schoolboy in Doncaster, had been watched by a few clubs, and was offered twelve-month apprentice contracts by Manchester City and Sheffield United. As it turned out, he went to see the Doncaster Rovers' manager, Maurice Setters, who gave him a two weeks training trial before signing him on as a professional in July 1971. Seventeen year-old Mike made his Donny debut, along with former schoolmate and future North Ender, Steve Uzelac, away at Newport County that October. Mike scored twice and his football career was up and running. Mike's profile was elevated a couple of years later when he and Doncaster put on a good show against Liverpool in an FA cup-tie. Bill Shankly, who had a good eye for spotting talent, put in a decent bid for him but Doncaster apparently tried to squeeze more out of Liverpool and their interest waned.

  • Shankly's Loss - Charlton's Gain

    At the end of February 1974 Bobby Charlton stepped in and bought Mike with a reputed new club record fee of £70,000. Once again he made an immediate impact by scoring two goals on his North End debut away at Carlisle United on 2nd March 1974 in a 2-2 draw. The fans took to the whole-hearted player straight away, he was obviously a ninety-minute player, who was strong and difficult to dispossess. Over the next four seasons Mike Elwiss missed just three league games, and between the years 1975-1978 he forged a terrific partnership with Alex Bruce on his return from Newcastle United. Together they scored 114 goals during that period and Elwiss was captain of the side that won promotion at the end of the 1977-1978 season under Nobby Stiles. Elwiss won the Player of the Year award that season to add to the one he won in 1974, and rarely has it been so deserved. There have been some wonderful strike pairings over the years at Deepdale and the Elwiss-Bruce combination is up there with the likes of the Thompson-Finney and Dawson-Godfrey partnerships.

  • Preston North End Former Player Mike Elwiss

    Elwiss Leaves For London

    To the bitter disappointment of the North End fans, the Club's difficult financial state led to Mike being sold to ambitious Crystal Palace in July 1978 for a reported £210,000 fee. It was inevitable that he would leave, but he only wanted to better himself. Terry Venables was the manager of Crystal Palace at the time and it was with extreme irony, that Elwiss, who had hardly missed a game at Preston through injury, would have his career virtually ended after sustaining a nasty knee injury later that season. Whilst still trying to recover fully from his injury he returned to Deepdale, on loan, and would you believe it he scored twice in a 2-1 win at Leicester City. He also scored on his final appearance for the club, away at Cambridge United. In total he scored 76 times in 227 appearances for Preston North End, many of those appearances being man-of-match performances too.

  • Early Retirement

    Preston North End Former Player Mike Elwiss

    Mike unfortunately only managed 20 league games for Crystal Palace but did manage 7 goals, before admitting defeat to the injury and retiring from the professional game he loves. But for the injury there is no telling just how good the strong running forward would have become. There is no doubt that Mike Elwiss was one of the best players North End have had over the last 30-odd years, and it was a tragedy that his career should end as it did.

  • Did you know that when Mike returned to play at Deepdale with Palace, they were top of the league and undefeated? They left Deepdale still top of the league and undefeated due to a last minute winner by...Mike Elwiss! His daughter Hannah, represented England at both hockey and hurdling. Mike is an active member of the PNE Former Players' Association and still attends most PNE home games.

  • Caricature by kind permission of Bob Bond. Words by Ian Rigby.