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Official Review by Gary Foxall, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Deepdale is one of England’s oldest and most famous grounds. It is also home to Preston North End, one of the founding members of the Football League. Up until 2010 it was also home to England’s National Football Museum until its relocation to Manchester where it opened in 2012.
Deepdale has been completely rebuilt into a 23,404 all-seated stadium and despite languishing in England’s third tier, it is a Premier League venue. The record attendance for the ground was set way back in 1938 when 42,684 witnessed a game against Arsenal.
New Deepdale consists of four separate stands named after the clubs most famous players: Sir Tom Finney, Bill Shankly, and Alan Kelly. The fourth is named the Invincibles Stand. A statue of Sir Tom is located outside of the stand named after him, called “The Splash”. Deepdale is also famous for having one of the first artificial pitches in Britain when one was laid in 1986. It was eventually replaced by grass in 1994.
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There are ample catering kiosks within all four stands that provide hot dogs, burgers, chips, pies and mushy peas. All of these are reasonably priced and the food is of good local quality.
Although the atmosphere of old Deepdale can never be replaced, the new version when full can become a close second. If North End can one day return to the top flight of English soccer where they were once one of the top dogs back in the 40's and 50's, then this will certainly be an outstanding venue to view English football.
Preston is a pleasant industrial city with a wide range of shops and public houses. The Mystery Tea Shop in the city centre offers specialty teas and coffees in addition to Starbucks and Costa Coffee. Yate's Pub, around a fifteen minute walk away, is a regular watering hole for supporters as is the Sumners public house located on Tom Finney Way. You can also park here for £3 which can be redeemed at the bar when purchasing food and drink. The nearby Sainsbury's Supermarket also has its own restaurant. There is a host of places to eat in the City Centre around a mile and a half away. Nearby Blackpool is one of England's most famous seaside resorts.
Preston North End have a loyal hard core of over 10,000 supporters and also take a good following to away games. They would easily sell out if they were in the top division and locals are always welcoming when visiting. Local rivals are Blackpool, Blackburn and Burnley and derby games against these teams are well worth attending.
The stadium is easily reached by exiting Junction 31of the M6 motorway and then following signs for Preston. Turn right at the Hesketh Arms roundabout onto Blackpool Road and you will eventually pass the stadium. Preston Railway Station is on the main west coast line to Scotland and is approximately one and a half miles away. Regular buses will run on a match day to Deepdale. Manchester and Liverpool Airports are both about one hour away.
Admission prices range from £5 for children up to £21 for adults with reductions for O.A.P'S. This is about the norm for this level of football although prices in the north are generally slightly cheaper for the same standard of football than those in the south.
There is a club shop outside Deepdale selling a range of replica kits and souvenirs. Betting kiosks are available inside the stadium concourse in the vicinity of the catering outlets. A match day programme is produced for all games priced at £3.
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23 Cannon St
Preston, England PR1 3NR
+44(0)1772 200 408
144-146 Church St
Preston, England PR1 3AB
195 Waitling St Rd
Preston, England PR2 8AB
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