Aston Villa is set to take a little over 2,600 supporters up the M6 for the 236-mile round trip on Wednesday nights Championship fixture against Preston North End at Deepdale.
Deepdale is recognised as being the oldest ‘continuously used’ football stadium in world football. The first ever football match to be played on the site was on the 5th October 1878.
The stadium is an all-seater stadium made up of four stands with a capacity of 23,404. The Sir Tom Finney Stand is the largest that runs alongside the pitch and can house up to 7,893 spectators.
Preston North End have been kind enough to do their own guide for away fans which is well worth a view.
THE AWAY SUPPORTERS
Away fans are housed in the Bill Shankly Kop were 3,000 tickets are usually allocated. The stand can house up to 6,000 fans if demand requires it.
The stand is very steep keeping fans close to the pitch with excellent views. There is TV’s showing Sky Sports and there are bars that are usually open for the majority of the game.
There are the usual food options available from pies (£2.80) to burgers (£3.50) and hot dogs (£3.70).
I NEED A PRE-MATCH PINT!
There isn’t a great choice in terms of pubs close to Deepdale but if you walk the Tom Finney Road then you will come across Sumners. The pub welcomes both home and away supporters. Sumners has a huge garden and offers both food and a variety of drinks.
St Gregory’s Catholic Clu is around a five-minute walk away on Blackpool Road. Fans are charged £1 on entry but are said to offer good priced drinks and pies. They also have Sky television.
Some fans have stated that they would advise against other fans drinking in the town centre as most will refuse to serve away supporters and police often move you on. While others have stated that both the Yates and The Vic and Station will serve you but not in big numbers.
HOW DO I GET THERE?
If you are driving then head up the M6 motorway until you reach Junction 31 where you should follow signs for the A59. After approximately 1 mile take the second exit at the roundabout (adjacent to the Hesketh Arms) onto the Blackpool Road. Continue a further mile (driving through four sets of traffic lights) and then take a left to Parkside.
The train from Birmingham New Street to Preston will take anything from 1 hour 30minutes to 2 hours 45 minutes depending on the train you take. The ground is two miles away from the ground.
Parking is available for £3 at The Sumners pubs and the money can be redeemed against purchases in the pub. You can also park at the St Gregory’s Catholic Club for £3.
You can park at the stadium for £12.50 but it is highly advised that you pre-book before the day of the game. Phone 0344 856 1966 for more information.
If you have Twitter then it is well worth following the official WMP Villa FC account. PC Stuart Bladen usually tweets live updates throughout the day.
Preston also has their very own PNE Police account. I have to say that I have been following this account since we got relegated to the Championship and they seem extremely helpful and love a little bit of banter with fans of the opposition.