PNE fans gear up for big Wembley kick-off

Paul Cookson at the Queens, Leyland, decorated for the PNE play off final
Paul Cookson at the Queens, Leyland, decorated for the PNE play off final
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Preston North End fans across the county are gearing up to cheer on Simon Grayson’s men tomorrow.

From digging out precious antique songsheets from past finals to creating a life-size balloon version of PNE hot-shot Joe Garner and decking out pubs in white and blue, the fans are ready to roar on the Lilywhites.

North End were desperate to win because it was a Guild year. But Huddersfield won a penalty that was later revealed to be a foul outside the box.

David Hunt

Some are embarking on mammoth coach journeys and spending a fortune to watch Grayson’s men try and make history by succeeding in the play-offs at the 10th attempt.

Come 5.30pm tomorrow, more than 20,000 North End fans will be chanting in the stands at Wembley.

And PNE fan David Hunt, curator at South Ribble Museum and Exhibition Centre in Leyland, has managed to dig out a songsheet from PNE’s 1922 FA Cup final ahead of the big game.

Back then thousands of predominantly female North End fans made the trip down to the capital to watch the match.

He said: “We have a collection of papers left to us by North End footballer Roland Woodhouse’s daughter.

“He was a Leyland man and he kept the songsheet from the 1922 FA Cup final at Stamford Bridge. North End were desperate to win because it was a Guild year. But Huddersfield won a penalty that was later revealed to be a foul outside the box.

“They scored and won, but it should never have been awarded. We think that referees were under pressure to get a result in front of the Royals.

“Back then more than 20,000 PNE fans went to watch it and the majority of them were women. Singing at football matches had developed after the First World War.”

Karoline Massey, owner of Bewitched Parties in Leyland, has created a life-size balloon model of Joe Garner – complete with ginger hair.

And just round the corner, the Queens pub is all decked out in white and blue to create a North End haven for fans who cannot make the trip down to London.

Whilst the Krazy Kitchen, on Plungington Road, Preston, is opening especially at 5am tomorrow so travelling North End fans can get a bite before they set off to see if North End can clinch promotion.