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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

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

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.

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