Definitions

Iain Anderson (footballer)

Iain Anderson (footballer)

For the cricketer, see Iain Anderson.

Iain Anderson is a Scottish footballer, who has played for Dundee, Toulouse (France), Preston North End, Tranmere Rovers (loan), Grimsby Town , St Mirren and Ayr United. He has been capped over 20 times by Scotland at U-21 level and is renowned for his pace and close control when cutting inside from the left-flank. He has been a scorer of spectacular goals throughout his career but has also struggled with motivation and fitness. He is currently without a club.

The Player

Anderson became the youngest ever scorer in the Scottish Premier League, when he scored at the age of 15 for Dundee against Rangers. His trickery, pace and powerful right foot earned him a move to the French side Toulouse, where he continued his career. In 2000 Anderson was taken on loan by then division 2 side, Preston North End. Anderson scored two goals for the club in his loan period and set many more up for another loan player, Brett Angell. Together, they are widely credited with cementing Preston North End's promotion to division 1 (now known as the Championship.) His successful loan spell earned him a then club record £500,000 permanent move to Preston North End in July 2000, and he scored a number of high quality goals for the club, most notably against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester City. Anderson was famed for cutting inside whilst playing on the left-wing and unleashing powerful efforts at goal. He was also useful from set pieces and surprisingly good in the air for a winger.

His Career

His time at Preston was marred firstly by injuries and then by a change in manager, which saw Craig Brown replace David Moyes at the helm. Brown did not approve of Anderson's predominantly attacking play, and criticized him for his lack of defensive awareness. It is commonly thought that Anderson became unmotivated under Craig Brown and lost his focus. Despite having a huge amount of natural ability, Iain Anderson never quite fulfilled his potential. On his day he was a world beater but those days came too infrequently. Consequently he was loaned out to Tranmere Rovers (where he scored on his debut and became very popular with the Tranmere fans), then Grimsby Town. He eventually moved from Preston North End permanently and rejoined his former club, Dundee. His most recent club was St Mirren, however in March 2007 his contract with the club was terminated by mutual consent, due to numerous injuries.

In the Media

Anderson has enjoyed a reputation throughout his career as a player willing to help others fulfill their potential. The following article, taken from the Sunday Mirror, is an example of the positive coverage he has received in the press:

IAIN ANDERSON has pledged to help bring through the next crop of young Dundee talent in his second stint at Dens Park. he midfielder, who quit Tayside five years ago for spells with Toulouse, Preston and Grimsby, returned in the summer to become part of a new-look Dundee side. Boss Jim Duffy is depending on youngsters after losing a host of top earners in the last money-troubled nine months - and Anderson knows all about making a name for himself. He still holds the honour of being the youngest goal-scorer in the history of the SPL. He was just 16 when he netted his first Dundee goal, claiming the record by 100 days from Christian Dailly. Anderson said: "I actually feel I am still learning a lot myself. The gaffer keeps teaching me new things every day and it is good just to watch a model pro like Barry Smith going about his business. I got a lot of assistance in my early days from players like Gerry Britton, George Shaw and Noel Blake and hopefully I can take on their role now I have been away from the club for a while and picked up experience. Our first task is to make sure we stay in the League after everything that's happened but I see no reason why we shouldn't do that and then start looking towards the top six in the table.

Iain Anderson played a vital role in taking Preston North End to the Football League Championship. In the 'North End Souvenir Special' magazine of 2001 legendary PNE winger David Eyres had this to say about Anderson:

"Ando has come in and has been taking my place of late. He's another lad with potential. He's quick and he tends to come in on his right foot if he's playing on the left, but he can use his left and he's scored a couple of good goals. He is one of those players who gets the fans off their feet because they don't know what he's going to do next. You need players like that because they bring excitement to the place and when Ando's on top form there aren't many better players than him"

Miscellaneous

* Iain Anderson's most common nickname is 'Ando', although he was also commonly referred to as 'the box on legs', because of his short (but wide!) body frame.

* Iain Anderson's favourite movie is 'Braveheart'

* Anderson appeared in a number of high-profile, televised games whilst a Preston North End player. He was involved from the start in Preston North End's infamous victory in the Championship play-offs against Birmingham City (which Preston won following a penalty shootout, a game during which Birmingham City Manager, Trevor Francis, tried to take his players off the pitch in protest at the end the penalties were being taken from). Anderson also set up Richard Cresswell for Preston North End's goal against Chelsea in the FA Cup, whipping in a cross from a free kick, which Cresswell headed past Carlo Cudicini.

* In July 2002 Preston North End announced that they had signed Ian Anderson, which caused some confusion amongst fans. However, the 'new signing' was actually a Preston fan called Ian Anderson who had won an auction to be a Preston North End player for a year.

* Iain Anderson appeared as a 'Preston North End legend' in a pre-match presentation before Preston's crucial game against Birmingham City in May 2007. He was given a warm welcome, along with other former PNE players.

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