Preston North End

Deepdale

Capacity: 23,408 (all seated)
Address: Sir Tom Finney Way, Preston, PR1 6RU
Telephone: 0344 856 1964
Ticket Office: 0344 856 1966
Pitch Size: 110 x 77 yards
Club Nickname: The Lilywhites
Year Ground Opened: 1875*
Shirt Sponsors: 888 sport
Kit Manufacturer: Nike
Away Kit: Navy With White Sash

External View
External View
Tom Finney and Bill Shankly Stands
Tom Finney and Bill Shankly Stands
Invincibles and Alan Kelly Stands
Invincibles and Alan Kelly Stands
Tom Finney Stand
Tom Finney Stand
Invincibles Stand
Invincibles Stand
Tom Finney Stand External View
Tom Finney Stand External View
Tom Finney Statue
Tom Finney Statue
External View
External View

With the addition of the new Invincibles Pavilion Stand in 2008, it now means that Deepdale has now been completely re-built in recent years. What was a great looking stadium, is now an even a better one as the new stand completely fills the remaining side of what was the Pavilion side of the ground.

Three sides of the stadium are composed of some excellent looking all seater stands, complete with some spectacular looking floodlights. They are of the same height and style and are all large, covered, single tiered stands. Each has a likeness of a past player outlined on the seats and is named after that player. Tom Finney, Bill Shankly and goalkeeping legend Alan Kelly, are all honoured and this makes a welcome change from the boring letters outlined on most new stands. The first of these stands to be built was the Sir Tom Finney Stand in 1995. This was followed by the Bill Shankly Kop in 1998 and the Alan Kelly Stand in 2001. The fourth new stand, the Invincibles Stand (named after the legendary Preston team of 1888/1889 who went through the whole season unbeaten and were also the first in that season to win the League & FA Cup double), cost in the region of £9m to build. The design of this stand is slightly different to the other three. Even though it is of the same height and has a similar roof, it has a smaller tier of seating, with 22 executive boxes sitting above. Alas I presume that there was not enough space to incorporate another player image on the seating so instead we have to make do with the letters 'PNE FC' instead. Outside the stadium is a statue of former Preston legend Tom Finney. Whilst at the back of the Tom Finney Stand is a small cafe that also houses a collection of Preston North End memorabilia.

Away fans are housed in the modern Bill Shankly Kop at one end of the pitch. Normally the allocation for away fans is approximately half of this stand (3,000 seats). However for teams with a large away support, then the whole end can be allocated, raising the allocation to 6,000.

The views of the playing action and facilities within this stand are excellent. The stand is particularly steep, meaning that fans are kept relatively close to the pitch. On the concourse there are TV's by the refreshment serving areas showing the game live and with the bars being open during the game, this is too much of a temptation for some. There is a wide range of food available including; Cheeseburgers (£3.70), Burgers (£3.50), Hot Dogs (£3.70), Meat & Potato Pie (£2.80), Chicken Balti Pie (£2.80), Steak & Kidney Pie (£2.80) and the Potato & Butter Pie (£2.80). You can also get a pie, peas and gravy for £3.70, plus the Club offer a 'Pie & a Beer' for £5.70. James Prentice adds; 'I would recommend the 'Butter Pie', which is a bit of a local delicacy. It is just a normal pie but with a filling of very buttery mashed potato and onion. I was attracted to it by a flag at the top of the new Invincibles Stand that read 'True Prestonians Love a Butter Pie!' I particularly enjoyed my last visit as the fans, stewards and even police all seemed to be fairly friendly and there was a good atmosphere being generated within the ground. 

There is not a great deal in the way of pubs in close proximity to the ground. Further up Tom Finney Way (which used to be called Deepdale Road) from the stadium, is Sumners. This pub normally has a good mix of home and away supporters, although for certain high profile games and local derbies the pub does not admit away supporters. There is a good sized beer garden & car park at the pub. The pub does charge for parking (£3) but this can be redeemed against a purchase at the bar. Good food is available and children are allowed in. James Pritchett adds to get to the Sumners; 'Make sure you go towards Sainsburys and away from the Town Centre and it should take five minutes. As you go past Sainsburys turn right at the lights and it is half way up the hill. It should be full, but friendly. The pub welcomes a mix of away and home support and are friendly towards families. It serves Theakstons on draught.' Whilst Charlie Guinan a visiting Nottingham Forest fan informs me; 'Sumners was good for away fans and apart from the beer they served an excellent pie, chips, mushy peas and gravy for only £3.50.'

There are also a couple of nearby clubs that welcome away fans. First there is St Gregory's Catholic Club, which is around a five minute walk away on Blackpool Road. The Club allows entry for a charge of £1, but offers reasonably priced drinks, hot pies, plus has Sky television. You can also park at the Club at a cost of £3. Secondly, there is the Fulwood Conservative Club, situated around ten minutes walk away from Deepdale, at the junction of Blackpool Road and Garstang Road across from Moor Park. Parking is available at the Club at a cost of £3 per car and non-members are admitted free into the club on matchdays. There is also the Frenchwood Social Club on Bence Road, that is away fan and family friendly (see below).

Paul Billington adds; 'In all honesty visiting fans should avoid town centre pubs simply because the Police will move you on quickly if they see you and most pubs will refuse to serve away fans. If you arrive by train I would recommend the Vic and Station not for the decor but simply convenience.' Otherwise alcohol is served within the ground. albeit in bottled or canned (Lager £3.50, Bitter £3.30, Cider £3.50, Guinness £4, Smirnoff £3.50. Wine £4). 

Whilst John a visiting Chelsea fan informs me; 'We went to Preston and had a great day. The Yates pub located about a 15 minute walk from the station towards the ground was fine and was okay for us away fans and family friendly. My only criticism of the ground was that it was difficult inside to get a drink as there was no proper queuing system and hence it was a mad scrum at the bar.'

Frenchwood Social Club

Frenchwood Social ClubAround a 25 minute walk away from Deepdale is the Frenchwood Social Club. This friendly club offers a warm welcome to away supporters visiting Preston and is family friendly. The Club also offer hot pies and filled rolls on matchdays. You can park in their club car park for the duration of the game, at a cost of £3, two pounds of which is redeemable at the bar against your first drinks order. Unfortunately the Club cannot accommodate coaches, but does have space for minibuses. The Club opens at 11am for weekend fixtures and 6pm for midweek games. If you would like to make use of the Club then please call Colin on 0783 6778815. The Club is located on Bence Road (PR1 4NP) Location Map.

If you require hotel accommodation in Preston or nearby Blackpool then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

Access their Preston and Blackpool Hotels pages.

Remember that you can use the above link to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, at home or abroad.

Booking.com

Leave M6 at Junction 31 and follow signs Left for Preston. Go up a steep hill (often a police speed trap on the hill, so stick to 30) and  follow the road down to a mini roundabout (speed camera by the BP garage on the left). At the roundabout with the Hesketh Arms turn right into Blackpool Road. Go straight on over three sets of lights and just before a fourth set, the ground appears set slightly back on the left. Parking is mainly in the streets surrounding the ground. There is some parking available at the ground itself, but at a cost of £12.50 per car.

Mike Holroyd adds; 'as you turn right at the Hesketh Arms roundabout into Blackpool Road and then pass a park on the left there is now another speed camera to watch out for. The Police also sometimes set up another mobile speed trap on the forecourt of the fire station on the left, so watch your speed. Plus as you near the ground don't be tempted to park up on the grass verges, you are likely to find after the game that you have been given a ticket for it!' Steve Thornley informs me; 'Parking for cars is available for £5 a car at Moorfields School. The car park is manned by volunteers from the school and all proceeds go into school funds. Just follow the directions above and at the last set of traffic lights continue straight on for about 200 yards, and you will see the school on the left near Moor Park'. Whilst Andrew Weston tells me; 'If approaching the ground by car along Blackpool Road (A5085), parking is available at the Preston Fire Station. It costs £3 and all fees are divided between the Fire Fighters Charity and the Preston Fire Station Welfare Club.  Getting to the ground from the fire station car park is about a 5 minute walk and is very straightforward - leave the parking through the gate you DIDN'T enter it by, walk along Harewood Road and turn right onto Skifferton Road. The ground is in front of you'.

Kate Abbatt suggests; 'If you want to avoid the pre and post-match traffic, here's a handy tip to avoid it. Instead of leaving the M6 at Junction 31, carry on to Junction 31a signposted, Preston East and Longridge. (This is a limited junction as you can only leave northbound and join southbound.) Keep in the right hand lane and go across the roundabout signposted Preston east, football ground and museum. Across the next roundabout (Anderton Arms on your right) and then left at the next one. At the next lights, go right onto Watling Street. You will go past the White Hart and a row of shops. At next lights by Fulwood Barracks, keep in the left hand lane. You can either park in Sumners, (turn left straight after the lights) or follow the road up to the big junction at Blackpool Road and the ground is on your left and take your chances with on-street parking. Sumners is better as you are the right side of the ground to get away quick after the game. Blackpool Road gets badly snarled up after games and the lights don't help it'. 

Post Code for SAT NAV: PR1 6RU

Preston Railway Station is around a mile and a half from the ground and takes around twenty five minutes to walk, although you will pass some good pubs on the way, so it could take you longer!

Leave the Preston railway station via the main entrance, and head right at the top of the drive. This is the main High Street. Continue along the High Street, passing all the regular big name shops. Some good pubs and eateries can be found down side streets off the High Street, so if you have time, take a look. Try the Old Black Bull, and Academy, the later being about the last place on the High Street that will allow away supporters before you get to Deepdale. Colours are not recommended around town. The High Street (or Church Street/Fishergate as it's known) is about a mile long, and you will pass a church and a bike shop as you come to its end. Simply carry on walking along this street, and when you reach the ring road, you head straight over the large traffic lights, heading towards Preston Prison. Turn left at the Prison into Church Street, then left into Deepdale Road. Continue straight along Deepdale Road and after about a mile you will reach the ground.

Find train times, prices and book tickets with trainline. Booking tickets in advance will normally save you money!

Remember if travelling by train then you can normally save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can save on the price of train tickets.

Click on the trainline logo below:

Home Fans
Sir Tom Finney & Invincibles Stands (Premium Area): Adults £30, Concessions £23, Under 16's £9*
Invincibles Stand: Adults £27, Concessions £20 Under 16's £8*
Sir Tom Finney Stand: Adults £27, Concessions £20 Under 16's £8*
Sir Tom Finney Stand (Family Area): Adults £27, Concessions £20 Under 16's £6* 
Alan Kelly (Town) End: Adults £24, Concessions £16 Under 16's £8*

Away Fans
Adults £24, Concessions £16 Under 16's £8

* Under 8's can be admitted for just £2 with a paying adult if they join the 'Mini Whites' membership scheme. Concessions apply to Over 65's, Under 19's and Full Time Students with current NUS card.

Official Programme £3.

Preston North End fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

Blackpool, Burnley & Blackburn Rovers.

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the  Level Playing Field w website.

Record Attendance

42,684 v Arsenal, Division One, April 23rd, 1938.

Modern (all seated) Attendance Record 23,119 v Chelsea FA Cup Round 4, January 23rd, 2010.

Average Attendance
2015-2016: 13,035 (Championship League)
2014-2015: 10,852 (League One)
2013-2014: 10,234 (League One)

You are only 20 minutes or so by car from Blackpool, which is Britain's premier seaside resort, so why not make a weekend of it? If you're feeling brave then try the UK's largest and fastest roller coaster, 'The Big One' at the Pleasure Beach. I braved it, but I think I was in shock afterwards! So much so that I had to seek out the Pleasure Beach bar for medicinal purposes. Only one word of caution, look at the other fixtures being played the same day in Manchester/Bolton/Blackpool etc... as your game. Simply because other away supporters attending these games will also be probably be heading to Blackpool after the game as well. So if there is a particular group of supporters from a club who you would rather avoid, then don't say I didn't warn you to check first.

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgrounds.net and I'll update the guide.

Preston North End v Huddersfield Town
Football Championship League
Wednesday 19th October 2016, 7.45pm
Steven (Huddersfield Town fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Deepdale?

We are currently doing well so nearby away games are tempting. Deepdale was my first ever away march as 9 year old in 1963 when the pitch was almost square . I visited again in the early eighties.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Was easy to find with good instructions from this website. Good car park next to Sainsbury's around the corner from the Sumners pub.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Went into Sumners for a quick pint. As it was a night match there wasn't much time for anything else however the food there looked excellent.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Deepdale?

Deepdale is a very nice compact stadium. Vastly different from my two previous visits. Away end has a brilliant view and plenty of leg room. Also decent pies at half time.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Our end was almost full and as the Sky reporter said our fans were relentless so couldn't hear the Preston fans at all even though we got thrashed 3-1 and deservedly so.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

It was very easy getting away from the ground. There wasn't a big crowd around 12,000 so not really many queues.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Apart from getting a puncture on the M62 after the game, it was a decent evening apart from result. I have a soft spot for Preston as it's where my grandmother is laid to rest and it was my first ever away ground.

Preston North End v Aston Villa
Football Championship League
Saturday 1st October 2016, 3pm
Sty (Aston Villa fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Deepdale ground itself?

I suppose the only 'good' thing about being relegated is that you get to go to new grounds you've never been to before. Deepdale being such a ground. I was particularly interested in seeing the mosaic faces on the seats.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

As we travel from North Wales to nearly every Villa game, this was easy. Straight up the M6, come off for Preston and follow signs for Deepdale. the ground creeps up on you really fast and we ended up right outside. There was a car park right across the road from the Club Shop so we parked in there for £5.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We had a walk around the ground, had a look in the Club Shop and then made our way to the away entrance.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Deepdale?

I have to say outside the ground that I have never seen a floodlight structure like it. I cannot work out if it is a thing of beauty or a monstrosity! When we first went to check out our seats the stadium was virtually empty. I always find this is the best time to take in a football ground. The face mosaics are a brilliant idea and very impressive, as are three other sides of Deepdale. I felt that the Invincibles Stand let down the rest of the ground, mainly due to what looked like a lot of wasted space along the very top of the stand, which I thought really spoilt the look of it. But on the whole Deepdale is a nice little ground.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc.. 

What an awful display by Villa resulting in two defensive mistakes and a 2-0 defeat, which resulted in being the last game in charge for Roberto Di Matteo. I felt very sorry for Preston to be honest as their home support was (attendance-wise) shocking with empty seat across all 3 home stands. We however took 5,000 fans who made a lot of noise throughout the game, and more so at the end as our team was booed off the pitch for such an awful display.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We got out of the car park pretty quickly but had about a 15 minute wait in the traffic lights opposite the ground while Police hand signalled traffic through. After that we were away, no problems, and back on the M6 south.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A nice and relaxed day out and if we are in the same division next season I will have no hesitation on going back to Deepdale. I would like to add that at £24 a ticket for an adult, and £2 for a ticket for my 7 year old daughter, this I thought was extremely good value for money and one in which more clubs should follow.

Preston North End v Aston Villa
Football Championship League
Saturday 1st October 2016, 3pm
Andy Newman (Aston Villa fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Deepdale ground itself?

I had previously visited Deepdale in the 1960's and not been back since - I wanted to see how the ground had been re-developed. Also as my son is at University in Preston, it gave me the chance to see him too!

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Very easy although we arrived in Preston early so probably missed any 'football traffic'. The ground is well sign-posted and is easy to find. I parked near the University and walked to the Deepdale Ground (taking 20 minutes). I noticed that there is lots of car parking in and around the ground itself, including parking in the park right opposite, which cost £4.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We went to a Wetherspoon's pub in the town centre which welcomed away fans, no problems and everybody seemed to mix well.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Deepdale?

Deepdale looks very impressive from the outside with a nice statue of Sir Tom Finney. The away end had good sight lines and although we were towards the back, we still had a good view. The other sides were good, with murals of Alan Kelly and Tom Finney pictured within the seating which was a nice touch.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Stewards were friendly and helpful, atmosphere good mainly due to visiting fans of which there were 5,500! Very good programme and good value at £3.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

No problems and got back onto motorway quickly.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A good day out despite another away defeat and recommend visiting especially if not been before.

Preston North End v Barnsley
Championship League
Saturday 10th September 2016, 3pm
Tom Bellamy (Barnsley fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Deepdale Ground?

Although it was still early in the season Barnsley were third from top and Preston were third from the bottom. Also this would be the first time I have visited Deepdale, plus I would be amongst 2,000 away supporters and therefore I was really looking forward to the game.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

The Deepdale Ground was very easy to find. I took the M1 North from Barnsley, then the M62/M61/M60 and finally leaving the M6 at Junction 31a. I found a pub called "The Sumners" which was only ten minutes drive from the M6. I paid £3 to use their car park. Deepdale was only another ten minutes walk and straight in at the away end of the stadium called the "Bill Shankly Kop".

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?  

My daughter accompanied me to the game and so we had a drink in the pub along with dozens more Barnsley fans. The majority of which were watching the Man Utd v Man City game on television. I didn't notice many home fans in the pub so the atmosphere was really good.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Deepdale?

The stadium looked really good and very modern. The away fans were all together behind the goals in the Bill Shankly Kop End. We had really good seats about half way up the Stands and so had a great view. I was very impressed with Deepdale.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The whole match was very entertaining with both teams starting off well, and Barnsley taking a 1-0 lead going in at half time.In the second half Preston began to create the more chances and so deserved their equaliser with a great 20 yard goal. However Barnsley came back at them and scored a great winner eight minutes from the end. The final score being 2-1 to Barnsley.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

There was no problem at all in getting away from the ground, back to the pub car park and then an easy getaway.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It was a very enjoyable day out especially for all the travelling Barnsley fans and getting a good away win to consolidate our league position.

Preston North End v Leeds United
Championship League
Saturday 7th May 2016, 12.30pm
Shaun (Leeds United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Deepdale ground?

The final game of the season is always an opportunity to let your hair down and a number of supporters were in fancy dress while many others brought inflatables to throw about. The good mood and a large away support (about 5,500) meant that there would be good atmosphere

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Took the train from Manchester airport (having flown in from Ireland) straight to Preston and it took just about 50 minutes to get there. From the station it takes about 20 minutes to walk to Deepdale,

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Went to the pub at the top of the station (sorry forget the name) Its friendly to away supporters and had a great atmosphere. The walk to the ground goes through the pedestrian centre of town so can grab a pie/chips etc.. along the way.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Deepdale?

Deepdale is impressively redeveloped! Looked like a new ground. Great view from behind the goal, and great atmosphere. The only unusual thing is the builders were obviously worried about the floodlights falling down. I mean why use one pylon to hold them up when you can use 10! (or maybe they just had some spare pylons to use up)

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Being the last game of the season all 22 players were thinking more about their summer holidays/ what club they might be joining over the summer and a game of football didn't break out until the 75th minute. One of our supporters had brought a surf board with him and surfed the crowd in the second half which was more entertaining than anything happening on the pitch! (take a look at it on Youtube, although bear in mind there is sow swearing involved) Facilities were good and the stewards were one of the friendliest and tolerant I've met at a match.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Easy enough. The Police pretty well escorted everyone back to the railway station where trains were waiting. The pubs were unable to distract us by being closed! We were out of there (not by choice) in an hour.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Enjoyable day out. The few home fans I met, the stewards and the Police were all very helpful and friendly. Would happily go back.

Preston North End v Burnley
Football Championship League
Friday 22nd April 2016, 7.45pm
Sean (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Deepdale Football Ground?

My brother and I were in England from the United States. We are both Everton supporters but we had a day in Manchester and as we were close, we decided to go up to Preston for the game.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Very easy from Manchester Picccadilly. We took the train up to Preston then took a cheap taxi to Deepdale.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

There's a pub next to Preston Railway Station so we had a pint there before heading to the stadium. The home fans were friendly but as they were playing Burnley so a lot of them were agitated to say the least.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impr essions of away end then other sides of the Deepdale Football Ground?

The stadium looks great inside and out. The away end was rocking as Burnley are going up and they brought 6,000 supporters. Burnley scored early and won the game, so the away end didn't stop singing for 90 minutes.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The atmosphere itself was incredible. It was great to take in a Championship level match and see how the second tier is. Had a pie which was good and I think around three pounds, was not too expensive. No problem getting to bathrooms, all food/beer vendors open on the concourse.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Taxi to the station and back, no problem, no taxi drivers trying to over charge foreigners.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I had a great time at this though I wish the home team could have won or at least scored. If you are ever in the North of England, Deepdale is definitely worth your time to visit!

Preston North End v Queens Park Rangers
Football Championship League
Saturday 19th March 2016, 3pm
Joe Hylton (Queens Park Rangers fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Deepdale football ground?

I've been to Preston several times over the past four decades, first time was when the great Nobby Stiles was the Preston manager and Rangers had Clive Allen up front for the R's.... Wouldn't say I was particularly looking forward to the game, no more than any other Rangers game up north, but I was looking forward to seeing how the grounds refurbishment had progressed since my last visit which was about three years previous to this one.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Not a difficult journey from West London this time, always advisable to check if Liverpool and the Manchester clubs have a home games as this will add to traffic congestion on the M6... No problems this time, roughly four hours driving in total to Preston. Last time we parked in the Fire Station on Blackpool Road, sadly that facility has been withdrawn, so we carried on and parked in a school just to the north of Deepdale for £5.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Couldn't really see any pubs or restaurants within walking distance of Deepdale, but there is a large Sainsbury's only a five minute walk from the away end with a decent cafe within the store. Very handy for a pre-match light lunch after the long motorway drive.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Deepdale football ground?

Deepdale is very impressive now it's completed, that is all but the executive boxes situated to the left of the away stand which I can only guess will be finished should Preston gain promotion. The away stand is a mirror image of the home end, the way this stand is structured made for very good acoustics from the traveling 900 QPR support. I really like Deepdale, they've got it right for football by refurbishing the old ground, unlike many of the new purpose built stadiums which are soulless and devoid of atmosphere.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc.. 

A decent game of football between two good Championship sides...you never know what your going to get, or which QPR team will actually turn up on the day, which is why we all love the beautiful game so much. As Rangers scored very early in the first half our support was buoyant throughout this encounter, Preston equalised in the 92nd minute, and I have to say a 1-1 score draw was just about the right result.

Can't pass comment on the food outlets as I didn't partake, can only assume from the volume of our support using the kiosks that the food and beer were up to the usual standards. The match stewards and police were helpful and friendly, this is how it should be at every football ground.... just safe, with no intimidation factor.... Have to mention a really nice touch by Preston, there were posters of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink inside the ground, for Rangers fans to take home that thanked us for making the round trip of 450 mile trip to support our club.... just a really nice gesture from Preston!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

This was the only downside to the whole day, it takes an age to getaway from Deepdale, there is a large retail park near the ground, that retail traffic mixed with the football traffic make for a nightmare exit to the motorway.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I enjoyed my day at Preston, the home supporters were friendly and I look forward to the corresponding fixture next season. One last point, I have to mention the Preston supporter in the stand to our right, who was wearing a turban on his head. He continued, even at one nil down, to wave a Union Flag throughout the whole match and was sporting a very long white distinguished beard. If every football supporter put as much visual and vocal encouragement into supporting their team, then grounds would be full to the rafters....Again, if this fella doesn't get Preston supporter of the season, then the vote must be fixed.... just a top, top, supporter!

Preston North End v Brighton and Hove Albion
Football Championship League
Saturday 5th March 2016, 3pm
Samuel Theodoridi (Brighton and Hove Albion fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Deepdale?

In the two years I had spent up at college in Preston (Myerscough College which is about 8 miles outside of Preston and also the College attended by Anthony Pilkington of Cardiff City) I had not once visited Deepdale to watch a match. When the date was announced, I decided that I would be going to watch this one. It also gave me the opportunity to meet up with a few friends and reminisce about my time at Myerscough.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I travelled up to Preston the day before the match to avoid having to get up ridiculously early. I was going to travel using Megabus, but I managed to get my train fare down from £113 to £34 plus the cost of the tube in London and the bus in Preston, so it made sense to catch the train. As for finding the ground on the day, I got on the Bus at Bilsborrow and got off at Moor Park, with the ground on the other side of the park.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

I stayed at Guy's Thatched Hamlet in Bilsborrow, which is only a stones throw away from my old college and enjoyed a few drinks the night before and a nice lunch of Tomato Soup, Lasagne (both the best I've ever had) and a mug of tea, on the Saturday before catching the bus to Moor Park.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Deepdale?

From the outside Deepdale it looked as if they'd used rather a lot of sheet metal, but run out before they finished it. I think it's fair to say that Deepdale isn't the prettiest of football grounds you'll ever see. I met my friend outside the ground and then we went inside. Three of the stands were of the same height and quite steep, and you get a good view of the game as a result. The other stand with the dugouts looked unfinished and rather poor, which was a shame.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

We brought just over 1000 up from the south coast and we were making all of the noise! The Preston fans were quiet for most of the first and second half which surprised me. Towards the end of the second half they perked up a bit and made it seem a bit more uncomfortable, but to be honest, there wasn't really much to cheer for them or us up until that point, it was a rather dull 0-0 draw which was probably a good result in the end, as North End aren't a bad side in this division.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

I had no problems getting out of the ground and I walked back to Preston Railway Station with my friend and had a bit of a chat about the game amongst other things, before going back to Guy's and meeting with a couple of other friends.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I enjoyed it very much. I'm glad I went and if we don't go up this year I will be going back again next year, hopefully to see us win!

Preston North End v Brighton & Hove Albion
Football Championship League
Saturday 5th March 2016, 3pm
George Northover (Brighton & Hove Albion fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Deepdale ground?

I was looking forward to this game as it was a chance to get another ground ticked off the list and of course follow Brighton away. Also two consecutive 4-0 wins of course had made the wait for it that more exciting. It was a game that my friend had suggested to me that we should go to as it was close to his 18th birthday. I also thought Deepdale looked quite an impressive ground whilst looking at it on this guide and I was looking forward to actually seeing it in person.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I used a fan run coach called BHA Blues Away. We left Eastbourne at 6am in the morning and we stopped at Warwick services for around 45 minutes.The journey was traffic free on all the motorway's so quite a stress free journey in all arriving in Preston at 1 o'clock where the coach dropped us off outside the away end.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Once we arrived in Preston, the first thing we did was look for a pub. On our way to find a pub a kind local directed us to St Gregory's social club, it is £1 to enter for non members and has cheap prices for a pint at £2.80 (a lot cheaper than we're used to down south!) we spent around an hour and a half in there before making our way to the ground.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Deepdale?

The ground looks impressive from the outside with it's rather different floodlights than what you'd expect at most other grounds in the country. As you walk out from the concourse you see how steep the stand is which when you are at the back of it gives you a very good view of the playing action.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game saw both teams cancelling each other out. A few minutes before half time Brighton's Jamie Murphy hit the back of the net only for it to be offside. Which was also the case in the second half when team mate Tomer Hemed also found the net, but the goal was disallowed. There wasn't much of an atmosphere created by the Preston fans even if they did have a drum and also that they hadn't turned up in great numbers. The facilities at the ground were what you would expect from a ground in the Championship, we didn't have a massive following so it was easy to move around the concourse and get to the toilets.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

After the game we got straight back on the coach that was parked outside the away end, once everyone was back on the coach we made our way home. Again we stopped at Warwick services for around half an hour. Like the journey up it was mostly on the motorway and I got back home to Eastbourne at around 11:30pm

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Although the game was a 0-0 draw, it was a good day out overall, another ground ticked off my list and I can now look forward to MK Dons away.

Preston North End v Sheffield Wednesday
Football Championship League
Saturday 20th February 2016, 3pm
Brian Butler (Sheffield Wednesday fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Deepdale ground?

This was my second visit to Deepdale, after enjoying my first. Overall Deepdale is a good ground to visit.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We parked at St. Gregory's Primary school, an ideal location close to Deepdale and costing only £3.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

We went in to St.Gregory's Social Club next to the school, a very friendly club with both sets of fans enjoying a drink and some food.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Deepdale Stadium?

Deepdale is a very attractive looking ground both inside and out.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    

It was a well contested game, with both teams in form. Wednesday went down to ten men for the last half hour of the game. Preston were able to capitalise on this and score the only goal of the match. The stewards friendly. The concourse was a bit tight for a big away following of 5,500 Wednesday fans.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Not the best ground for getting away, stuck in slow moving traffic for 30 minutes.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Despite the result we still enjoyed our visit, especially to the St. Gregory's Social Club.

Preston North End v Reading
Football Championship League
Saturday 12th December 2015, 3pm
Will Care (Reading fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Deepdale Football Ground?    

I was visiting some mates in Liverpool who are at uni there, and while being up north it seemed the perfect opportunity to tick off another ground. I have been to most other grounds in the Championship League, but due to Preston recently being in League One it's a ground which has slipped through the net. Steve Clarke had just been sacked and we were on a poor run of form, making this game quite exciting as both teams would be expecting a win and I felt the team needed some support.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    

My journey was simple on the day having already travelled to Liverpool, it was a quick train ride of around an hour to Preston station. From there me and my mates joined up with some other Reading fans and using this guide found Deepdale easily and probably took around 25-30 mins. However, the weather was awful and rain was coming down in sheets, with flooding in the area we were worried that the game could be cancelled as lower league games in the area were being called off.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

As soon as we arrived at Deepdale we spoke to a group of stewards who assured us that the game was going to go ahead. After that relief we took a quick look at the Tom Finney statue and then had a burger from a van outside the away end. Most supporters seemed to be heading straight inside the stadium as quick as possible due to the weather, but the few preston fans I spoke to seemed friendly.

What you thought on seeing the Deepdale ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?    

Even though it seemed we were walking through gale force winds we struggled to the ground and my first impression was very positive as the Deepdale ground itself is very impressive with towering floodlights. The stadium has character and the away end was suitable inside. Inside the ground is equally impressive however one side of the ground is much smaller to the other three. The view from the away end was fantastic.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    

When the game kicked off I was pleased it was going ahead and felt positive that the players would have something to prove, but this optimism faded quickly as Preston took control of the game and we could not get a foothold in the game. Preston hit the post just before half time but we went in 0-0, a scoreline which was not reflective of Preston's domination and flattered reading. I naively hoped for a response which did not come, though our goalkeeper Bond made two fantastic goal line saves. I felt Preston getting frustrated until our skipper McShane brought down Garner who stepped up slotted the penalty away confidently. Reading didn't look like getting anything and the game was looking to fizzle out until the last 10 minutes when Reading put some string of attacks together the best of which saw Nick Blackman through one on one who shot high over the bar. That was our best chance of the game but Preston won the game deservedly. The atmosphere was flat from the home end, but I will reserve judgment as the weather did not help things. The 566 Reading fans who made the journey were in good voice with some Xmas songs, but most were disgraced with the performance.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Easy. We walked straight back to the railway station only to find that our train was delayed over an hour!

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Considering the bad conditions, the overall day out to a new ground was enjoyable but ruined by the game itself. I would go back to Preston but want to go to a few more new grounds beforehand, but a cup draw or with better form I could see myself making a return visit.

Preston North End v Blackburn Rovers
Football Championship League
Saturday 21st November 2015, 3pm
Daniel Ainsworth (Blackburn Rovers fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Deepdale football ground?    

This was a local derby for Blackburn Rovers and my first trip to Deepdale due to Preston not being in the Championship League for some time.. Also, we had sold out our entire away allocation and the game had been built up for sometime in the media.. So I couldn't wait!

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    

We went with a local pub who run coaches to every Blackburn away game. We set off at around 12:45pm for what should have been a short 30 minute journey. However, since it was a local derby, the Police stopped us on the outskirts of Preston and made us wait. We finally arrived at Deepdale at 2pm. We pulled up at a cordoned off area and got off the coach.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

We had a walk around Deepdale whilst some others off the coach went up to the Summers pub about a ten minute walk away. We needed a soft drink and found a small shop nearby. I also bouth a programme from a seller outside the ground. We experienced no trouble from any home fans.`

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Deepdale?    

Deepdale is a very historic ground and has a interesting statue of Tom Finney outside. We were housed in the Bill Shankly Kop End. This was packed due to the small travelling distance. 

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    

The atmosphere was second to none - especially due to the raucous away support. We sang all the time except for when they scored. Preston fans were very good though and the banter made the game enjoyable. Stewards were at the front and didn't bother us. The pies were great. The Clayton Park Butter Pie had just won an award and was amazing (it cost £3.20).

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Due to the vast amount of visiting supporters, we had to wait thirty minutes inside the ground before being escorted out. Those who had travelled by train were compulsorily put onto waiting buses by the Police and driven straight to Preston Railway Station.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It was a great day out and the fans were great for both sides. It was even better when we won 2-1.

Preston North End v Derby County
Championship League
Saturday 9th September 2015, 3pm
Andrew Keay (Derby County fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting Deepdale?

I had not been to Deepdale for over 20 years. So I was looking forward to seeing how the ground had changed.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Not too bad at all. Drove up and came in off the M6 at Junction 31a. I would recommend this to anyone traveling northbound as it is much easier and hardly any traffic. I then parked in a street about a ten minute walk away from Deepdale.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

I was going to go for a drink but the Sumners pub was five deep at the bar. So I decided to make for the ground. I got there about an hour before kick off so I had a chance to look around the outside. I particularly liked the Tom Finney "Splash" monument.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?

It was nothing like I remembered, as it looked very modern. It was a wooden stand last time I went ha ha. The new stands were admiral with great views and plenty of leg room.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

I had a Potato and Butter Pie from one of the kiosks. It was very nice too and only £2.80, so good value. The game itself was okay with Derby winning 2-1. With 3,300 traveling away fans this made for a good atmosphere. All credit to the Police and stewards, both very polite and relaxed and happy to chat as were the Preston supporters.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

It was brilliant to get away from where we had parked, got back to the car and left via Junction 31a again and was back on the motorway in under 10 minutes.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A very enjoyable away day helped by the friendly atmosphere and of course the win!

Preston North End v Coventry City
League One
Saturday, January 18th, 2014, 3pm
Alex Smith (Coventry City fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Coventry City have a rotten record at Deepdale having never won there. Plus I have been to Preston twice before and was not impressed on both visits. But this time we were stopping in Blackpool for the weekend so I was looking forward to it for that reason.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We left Coventry at 6pm on the Friday for Blackpool and the motorway was surprisingly quiet for a Friday evening. We were in Blackpool for 8:15 and we checked into the Havelock House Bed & Breakfast (which I would strongly recommend) and then hit Blackpool town for the night. We went to the King George pub and was brilliant, Friendly atmosphere, good DJ. We left for Preston at around 11:00 on the Saturday morning via a minibus which was very reasonably priced.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We went to the Fulwood Conservative Club which is located on the Blackpool Road. It was not very busy and the drinks were very cheap and had very good facilities, We did not speak to many North End fans but the ones we saw kept to themselves.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

I never used to like Deepdale, but since they replaced that old stand on one side, it has improved dramatically. The new stand is not particularly eye catching, but has boosted greatly the overall look of the stadium.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc.

The One and Only programme priced a £3 was a decent read with lots of information on both clubs, The game was all PNE and I mean all PNE they were all over us and we were lucky to be going in 0-0 at the break. I purchased a burger inside the concourse and I have to say it was delicious and definitely worth the £3 I paid. The Stewards were helpful approachable, and talkative.

The atmosphere was good from the 900+ strong Sky Blue Army. The second half picked up from the first and PNE continued to dominate eventually going 1-0 in the 57th minute through Kevin Davies which improved the atmosphere from the Preston fans. But then Coventry responded and kept on coming close, Leon Clarke firing over from close range and Andy Webster missing a open net from a Blair Adams corner. Preston tried to time waste towards the end of the game. Fans keeping the ball in the stand, taking long at throw ins, kicking away the ball everything they could do they did. Kevin Davies was sent off on 87 mins for a two footed tackle on Andy Webster.

We were into added time when Coventry's Denzel Slager took a shot which was blocked by Neil Killkenny. The ball landed at the foot of Franck Moussa and hit a absolute cruise missile from 35 yards out and hitting the top corner which sent the away fans into raptures! The game ended 1-1 although with that very late equaliser, it almost felt like we had actually won the match!

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

There were a few altercations outside the Bill Shankly Kop end which let the stewarding down a bit. Other than that there was no trouble. We met our mini-bus at the Fulwood Conservative Club and made our way back to Blackpool. It took us no longer that 40 minutes.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Preston away is a good opportunity to a brilliant weekend away in Blackpool. So if you are going on your travels to Preston this season I recommend stopping in Blackpool for at least one night. So in the end, what I thought was not going to be a great trip, turned out to be one of my favorites. 

Preston North End v Blackpool
Capital One Cup 1st Round
Monday, August 5th, 2013, 7.45pm
Michelle-Louise Burrows (Preston fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

There may be Rangers v Celtic, Liverpool v Everton or Man City v Man Utd but, in this corner of Lancashire, this is THE derby. Which fan wouldn't have been up for it?  That said, I saw things at that match that I never want to see again.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Took the car and decided to park in Preston Bus Station before taking a taxi to Deepdale. Because of the modern nature of the derby, I removed my Blackpool stickers from the car as I did not want it vandalised.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Went straight to the ground but, even on arriving in Preston, I felt very apprehensive. So I took the unusual step of hiding my colours. Although I have friends who are North End fans, this is NOT a friendly derby.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

Having been to Deepdale before, I've always found it an impressive ground, just right for a club the size of Preston. I particularly like the way, like us, they honour their heroes e.g. Sir Tom Finney, Alan Kelly, Bill Shankly etc. We were given the Bill Shankly Kop due to the huge travelling support from the Fylde.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Less said about the match the better. Blackpool had innumerable chances to win the game but, as usual, fell to a sucker punch three minutes before the end. I had no complaints about the result but the stewarding was appalling. I am not an animal and I will not be treated as such. The rudeness from the PNE stewards was a disgrace but not as much as some of the "fans".  As the final whistle went, over 300 of their number decided to invade the pitch, not so much in celebration - you'd have thought by their reaction they'd have won the Champions League, the World Cup, the Lottery, the Grand National and the Eurovision Song Contest rolled into one! - but to goad the Blackpool fans, amongst whom were women and children. I though our supporters showed marvelous restraint in the face of such unwarranted provocation, even though the Police and stewards did absolutely nothing to stop this behaviour.  I did feel sorry for the decent North End fans who should have been savouring a deserved victory over the old enemy having it spoilt by idiots.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

I was terrified after the match and, thanks to one decent Policeman, I got a lift back to Preston Bus Station. Even then, there was violence of the worst order with missiles being thrown, our supporters being attacked and the Police failing miserably to keep a lid on it.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Never in the thirty seven years of me following Blackpool Football Club have I been so terrified for my own personal safety as I was that night. The stewarding and policing was totally abject. Even when I was driving home, some goons threw a brick at my car, narrowly missing it, and surrounded the car which was only averted when I put my foot down. A coach load of our supporters was ambushed by Preston "fans" and vandalised. It was a huge stain, not only on Preston North End FC who should have been celebrating a victory over us for the first time in God knows when, but the County of Lancashire. Has football really gone back to the bad days of the 80s? Has the rivalry between Preston North End and Blackpool, once friendly, turned so bitter and vile that innocent fans can be attacked just because of whom they support?  I dread to think what would happen when we play each other again. Especially if it's at the Blackpool end of the M55.

Preston North End v Wolverhampton Wanderers
League One
Saturday, August 3rd, 2013
Sam Martin (Wolves fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I had not been to Preston North End before but appreciated that it was an historic club. I was also looking forward to the new season despite my club, Wolves, having suffered successive relegations. “FL72” was also flogging the game as an historic fixture commemorating 125 years of the football league between two of its original founder members. Suspect it all felt a little different in 1888!

Tom Finney Mural

Tom Finney Mural

 2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I went with my brother and - forming part of the Wolves diaspora - actually travelled up to the game by train from London Euston. Though expensive, the train was very quick on the way there given the distance (almost two hours exactly). Preston has a rather nice Victorian train station which is very close to the city centre. We only had a vague idea about how far the ground was from the city centre (maybe two miles) and got a taxi to the ground (£5ish) and then walked back to the station after the game.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Well there was a pub right by the train station that was allocated to Wolves fans. It was absolutely mobbed as Wolves had taken a large away following so we tried a real ale pub called the Black Horse in the town centre – lovely interior, cracking local ales and friendly staff despite the fact the pub was also full of Wolves fans and was reasonably priced.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

The ground is very modern but is saved from being an “identikit” stadium by some nice touches acknowledging Preston’s impressive history including a mural Tom Finney on the outside of the Main Stand. Seating was fine – though everyone in the away stood there was no harassment from stewards about standing. Thought the stadium compared favourably to Turf Moor and even Ewood Park which I have attended previously.

Come on you Wolves!

Deepdale view from the away stand

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Game was a pretty dull, a nil-nil draw. As is fairly standard nowadays it seemed the majority of the noise was made by the away fans. But the weather was nice and the ground was reasonably full. Stewards were very friendly. I don’t think I had a pie as I was still recovering from a large bag of  hairy pork scratchings, I had at the pub but the prices seemed reasonable compared to most stadiums (though obviously not when compared to anywhere else in the real world). Only big downer was that I could not find a programme vendor.
 
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Had to walk back to town to get the train. Not a particularly nice walk to be honest but no trouble with home fans (though we were not in colours) or anything like that. There was a heavy police presence at the station which was unfortunate and was a bit heavy handed. It seems to rile people up as much as keep the peace.
 
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Good day overall despite the disappointing game. Like virtually all former industrial towns of the Midlands and North, Preston has probably seen better days  but there are certainly some nice parts of Preston and some good pubs if you look around. Journey back was delayed by well over an hour,  which coupled with an early onset hangover, managed to sour the end of the day a little.

Preston North End v Sheffield Wednesday
League One
Saturday, December 31st 2011, 3pm
Dan Brennan (Sheffield Wednesday fan)

Wednesday, despite two poor results recently, are flying high in League One and 4,000 other Wednesdayites must have thought the same as me - this is a very good opportunity for three points.
 
Myself and a friend got the train to Preston from Sheffield Midland Station. This included a change in Manchester Piccadilly and cost £29, which seemed quite steep, so I think if I went again I would look at a different means of travel.  From Manchester Piccadilly it took about an hour to reach Preston. From the station it took us a good half an hour to walk to Deepdale.

Some friends of ours are from Preston, and they recommended that we try the famous 'Butter Pie' whilst we were there. We did so but  upon tasting, I'd advise leave it well alone if I was you! Pubs seemed to be few and far between, however, and many of these seemed very Preston-orientated.

Deepdale's a nice ground to be fair. It's a good size and much to the delight of the Preston fans I spoke to, it looked in better shape than Ewood Park down the road in my opinion. The Football Museum is in a bit of a state and speaking to mates and also staff at PNE they seem very frustrated at its' departure, which is understandable, but seem reluctant to see it knocked down. Once inside the ground, it's pretty decent. There are two big, nice looking stands to the right and directly across from the visiting stand and the Invincibles Stand to our left was hardly a let down, it simply needs the area above the stand sorting out and it'll be sound as a pound.

Wednesday's dominance throughout paid off and goals from Danny Batth and Ben Marshall before half time set the tone for a comfortable, 2-0 Wednesday win. Preston were very poor throughout though and I think this contributed hugely to the dour atmosphere in the ground. It's been a long time since I've seen a side play so negatively, so to think that Preston fans watch that every week is sobering! Saying that, the three points are all that mattered for Wednesday and we went back to Yorkshire happy bunnies, eagerly awaiting what 2012 has in store for our club. Stewards were fine, the toilets were big and clean which is a huge bonus as not all football grounds have this 'luxury' and the food was good enough. The stand is steep though and I echo other reports which state that it can be a bit dis-orientating for people who aren't fond of heights as, even though the stand isn't huge, you're more or less on top of the pitch.

Getting back to Preston Station was simple enough although without the help of the people we knew I can envisage it being a potential problem as it's a fair way away. I'd recommend getting some directions before the game and keep asking people around you - the home fans were all very friendly (even if the young ones were incredibly 'chavvish'!) and I'm sure would help you out. Once there, simple enough getting home although you do pass Bolton's ground on the way home and if they're at home as well as Preston I predict that the train may very well get full so prepare yourself. Thankfully for us they kicked off later on in the day so we survived.

All in all a good day out at Preston. The ground isn't the most accessible and, using the train, Preston itself wasn't exactly perfect to find but the fact that Wednesday played very well and Deepdale is a good stadium with bags of character means it's a trip worth making and I'd jump at the opportunity to visit the ground again in the future, though hopefully in a higher league as I think the Preston fans deserve it. They turned out in force to see a woeful performance and even though I'd rather it be them than us, I'd still like to see them start picking up. Good ground, I'd certainly recommend it, just drive there!

Preston North End v Exeter City
League One
Saturday, August 20th 2011, 3pm
Steve Ellis (Exeter City fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game?
 
I was looking forward to this game since the fixtures came out. It is a stadium I had never been to and being an Exeter supporter not one you would think you would ever go to! Plus it was to be the first real test of the season.
 
How easy was the journey, Home fans friendly, what did you do before the game?
 
The journey itself was very easy leaving Exeter at 7.30am on the supporters coach and arriving just before 1pm. On arriving I waited along side Exeter fans and Preston fans for the Exeter team to arrive. The home fans were friendly and easy to talk with. Before the match I took a walk round the stadium having a look at the main entrance and also the statue of the great Tom Finney, known as 'the splash'.  Once through the turnstiles I went pitchside in order to have a proper look and take pictures of the legends that are printed in the seats before the ground started filling up, I then returned to the bar on the concourse and watched the end of the live Sky Sports game.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground? and inside?
 
As we arrived the ground was tucked in behind houses but as we left the coach it is easy to see how much work has gone into modernising, as all four sides looked new. The away end looked quite steep so if your not that good with heights dont go to near the top but no matter where you sit you have good leg Room and superb views. The other stands pretty much the same.

The game itself was a 1-0 defeat for Exeter with Preston scoring just before half time and Exeter going down to 10 men during that first half, our keeper doing his best to keep us in the game with a few good saves, but with 10 men Exeter seemed to be the better team in the second half.

The atmosphere during the game was excellent, refreshments were a good range of food and non alcoholic and alcoholic drinks all at usual sort of prices or meal deals for £4.50. The stewards were very friendly  and helpful and stayed out of the way and taking time to chat with the visiting supporters and offering to take pictures for supporters. The toilets were also clean.
 
Comment on getting away after the game:
 
Getting away after was fairly easy, just a slow journey back to the motorway but when there it was an easy journey home. arriving just after 10pm. Despite the result it was a fantastic day out.

Why not write your own review of Deepdale, Preston and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

* The ground was opened in 1875 as an athletics, rugby and cricket ground. Football was first played later on the site in 1881.

Updated 12th November 2016

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