David Beckham earned £400-per-week playing for Preston

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Preston North End welcome Manchester United to Deepdale in the FA Cup fifth round this evening in a clash that sees two of the country's most prestigious clubs pitted against each other for a place in the quarter-finals of England's number one knockout competition.

The two teams might be two divisions apart heading into Monday night's encounter, but they share a number of similarities with numerous former players and managers having previously represented both clubs.

David Moyes, Sir Bobby Charlton, Brian Kidd and Tommy Docherty are just a few names that have been associated with Manchester United and Preston, but arguably the biggest of them all is former England captain David Beckham.

The recently retired midfielder first made his name at Old Trafford, but before breaking through to Sir Alex Ferguson's first-team he enjoyed a brief loan spell with the Lilywhites, something that the Lancashire club remains very proud of, judging by the small shrine that adorns the wall of one office at Preston's ground.

Stadium manager Paul Bradley is the man responsible for one particularly interesting piece of framed memorabilia that proudly divulges details of Beckham's temporary contract whilst on loan from Manchester United between February and March in 1995.

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The discoloured document shows how one of the most famous sportsmen on the planet used to earn a very modest wage of £400-per-week with the option of a £50 bonus every time he was named in Preston's first-team squad, before going on to make multi-millions with the Red Devils, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Los Angeles Galaxy and Paris Saint-Germain.

"David Beckham played down here on loan and I have his contract on my office wall," confirmed Bradley in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. "I was told to get rid of it by a former chairman, but I was sensible enough to keep it."

Preston got a decent return on the Beckham deal after the former Three Lions skipper scored two goals in five games for the club. And, after hanging up his boots nearly two years ago he'll probably be one of many interested spectators watching on when the two teams meet tonight for the first time since 1972.

"We have quite an affinity with [Manchester] United," - Paul Bradley, Preston stadium manager

"We have quite an affinity with United," added the stadium manager. "Bobby Charlton also had a spell down here, we have had a few players moving here from United and we also had Fergie junior in charge, although that went a bit sour in the end.

"I remember the last time United played here. I came with my dad and my brother and it was in the days when all the children would be passed down to the front, so I sat on the grass at the side of the pitch.

"I went home crying, though, because they beat us 2-0. I just hope we don't have to wait another 43 years before we play them down here again."

Magic of the Cup...

Louis van Gaal's side will see tonight as a good opportunity against League One opposition to book their place in the last eight and move one step closer to a Wembley final. But, if the magic of the tournament has taught us anything, there's no guarantees in FA Cup football.

Manchester United fans: How do you fancy your chances against Preston this evening? Leave a score prediction in the comment box below...

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Preston North End
FA Cup
Manchester United
David Beckham

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