Preston North End and Deepdale:

Founded in 1862, Preston North End was originally a cricket club named Preston Nelson. The club later changed its name to reflect the fact that games were played in Ashton, at the north end of Preston.

In 1875, Preston North End began playing on land at Deepdale Farm and formed a rugby team. Later, a football team was established that played its games at Deepdale.

On 5th October 1878, Preston North End played its first football game, losing 1-0 to Eagley.

Two years later, the club decided to concentrate exclusively on football.

The manager of a local factory, Major William Shudell, became the club secretary and decided to recruit talented local players and ones from further afield to improve the club’s fortunes. He succeeded in making Preston North End one of the best clubs in England. In the first round of the FA Cup in 1887-88, Preston North End beat Hyde 26-0, which remains the highest score ever recorded in the competition.

Having become one of six Lancashire clubs to join the Football League in 1888, Preston North End won the inaugural championship without losing a single game and became known as the ‘Invincibles’. The only other team to manage this in the top flightwas the great Arsenal team of 2003-04

Preston also won the FA Cup in 1889 without conceding a single goal, beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-0 in the final of the prestigious competition.

Preston won the Football League in 1890 and finished second to Everton the following year.

The club’s last major trophy was the FA Cup in 1938, when Preston North End beat Huddersfield Town in the final.

Deepdale hosted its first association football match in 1878.

Big changes were made to the ground in the 1960s and again in the 1980s.

Extensive renovations were also carried out in 1995, when the old West Stand made way for the new Sir Tom Finney Stand.

The Bill Shankly Kop was developed in 1998.

In 2001, the all-seater Alan Kelly Town End replaced the old Town End terrace.

The 5,000-seater Invincibles Pavillion opened in 2008, completing the regeneration of Deepdale, which is now all-seater with a capacity of 23,408.

Away fans are accommodated in the Bill Shankly Kop at one end of the pitch. With 5,700 Villa fans expected in Preston, the away fans will fill this stand. Views from this section of the ground are excellent.

How to get there:

By car:

Depending on traffic, a journey from Birmingham to Deepdale by car should take between one hour and fifty minutes and two and a half hours.

For directions to Deepdale, click here.

Use postcode PR1 6RU for sat navs.


There is limited parking available at The Sumners pub on Watling St Road, at a cost of £3 per car. The cost of parking can be redeemed against a purchase at the bar.

There is a huge car park at the rear of The Moorbrook on North Road, where parking costs £1 for 12 hours.

Opposite Deepdale, there is Moor Park, PR1 6AS, where fans can park on Saturday.

Limited parking is also available on Moor Park Avenue, while the car park of Moor Park High School and Sixth Form, PR1 6LR, will also be open for match day parking at the cost of £5.

By train:

Virgin train services from Birmingham New Street to Preston run hourly. The journey takes an hour and forty minutes.

Return tickets are available for Saturday for £52.20.

The ground is a mile and a half from the railway station so expect a twenty-five minute walk.

Leave the railway station via the main entrance and head right at the top of the drive onto the High Street.

The High Street is about a mile long. You will pass a church and a bike shop towards the end of it.

Continue walking along this street until you reach the ring road, where you should head straight over at the traffic lights, towards Preston Prison.

Turn left at the Prison into Church Street then turn left into Deepdale Road. Continue straight along Deepdale Road until you will reach the ground.

Where to drink:

The Sumners, 195 Watling St Road, PR2 8AB, is a traditional pub that becomes extremely busy on match days due to its proximity to Deepdale.

The Old Vic at the Station, 79 Fishergate, PR1 2UH, is a popular pub opposite the railway station where Villa fans will be welcome on Saturday.

The Adelphi, 43 Fylde Street, PR1 7DP is popular with students but welcomes away fans on match days.

Ten minutes’ walk from the railway station is The Moorbrook, located at 370 North Road, PR1 1NR, where away fans will also be welcome. The pub boasts a variety of real ales and you can enjoy a pint and a pizza from the wood fired oven for £7.

As always, wherever you go and whatever you do, have a great day.


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