Well, here it was! A chance to visit ‘Britains Newest City’. I could hardly contain myself to be honest. My mum won free tickets to the game at work, and it was another stadium to tick off my list. The match had been hyped up all week on the local news… so it was inevitably going to be an awful game.
I had wanted to visit Deepdale for a while as they were my local Championship team.
We arrived in Preston early as usual, and parked in a pub car park. Parking around Deepdale is a pain, but I don’t think they get too many attendances like the one on this particular day,
I bought my matchday programme for £3 and a Preston shirt for £5, just for the crack. The programme seemed more bothered about how Manchester United were doing in the Premierleague and Champions League. Perhaps this was because Darren Ferguson was in charge at Deepdale?
We had tickets for the Sir Tom Finney Stand, and the view was extremely good. To my left was The Bill Shankly Kop which housed around 3,500 Blackpool fans. Blackpool sold out their allocation for this Lancashire derby and made a brilliant atmopshere, turning Deepdale into a sea of tangerine. To my right was the Alan Kelly Town End, and directly in front of me was the brand new Invincibles Pavilion. The Invincibles Pavilion has media facilities, a gantry, executive boxes, and dugouts. When Deepdale was re-developed they took inspiration from The Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa, Italy. This is shown in the way that the stands at Deepdale are all of the same height and design.
The outside of the stadium is well designed, with a club shop plonked in the middle of nowhere, a football museum with nothing in it, and a Fitness First Gym built into the away end.
Deepdale is the oldest continually used football stadium IN THE WORLD.
Playing for Preston that day was Danny Welbeck, a promising young striker who I had seen play for Manchester United a couple of times. Unfortunately, he did not perform at all on this occasion and didn’t seem to even understand the offside rule.
You’d have been laughed at if you’d have said Blackpool would be promoted just 3 months after this game. The team lacked creativity and had no real fight about them.
I can’t really say a lot about the match itself. So here is a quote from The BBC’s match report to give you a taste of what happened…
“The 86th league meeting between West Lancashire rivals Preston and Blackpool ended in a disappointing goalless draw.”
I didn’t bother experiencing catering at Deepdale as I have heard numerous reports that they have the worst pies in the football league.
The most enjoyable part of the day was watching numerous Blackpool fans arrested for lighting orange coloured flares.
- DISTANCE TRAVELLED TO GROUND: 23 miles
- ADMISSION: Free tickets
- PROGRAMME PRICE: £3