Preston North End fans on their way to Wembley for play-off final

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Flags were flying and club T-shirts were proudly worn as Preston North End fans set off for the match against Swindon Town.

Scores of coaches lined up outside Deepdale this morning as people arrived under grey skies and rain.

There were fans of all ages, from children excited about their first trip to Wembley to long-standing supporters who had been watching the team for years.

As they boarded the coaches, they were all hoping it would be 10th time lucky for the Lilywhites and their manager Simon Grayson.

Among those making the journey to London was Mick Hull, 69, from Longridge, and his wife Ann.

He said: “This is my first time at Wembley. We have only been supporting North End for the last couple of years. When they get to Wembley, you have to go.

Some of the thousands of fans who left Deepdale on Sunday morning

Some of the thousands of fans who left Deepdale on Sunday morning

“The season has been up and down. They should have clinched it early on. We have been in front quite a few different times and they sat back on it. We have to keep fighting.”

He was looking forward to seeing his player of the season, Joe Garner.

“It’s not only the goals, but the way he plays. He’s a trier,” he said.

Season ticket-holder Katie Dalton, 35, from Bamber Bridge, said: “The last time we went was 2004 to Cardiff. We follow them home and away and are season ticket-holders, so we couldn’t miss out.

“We follow them home and away and are season ticket-holders, so we couldn’t miss out.”

Fan Katie Dalton

“Apart from Colchester, it’s been a really good season. They have played some good stuff. We have had a few disappointments, but that’s what you get with North End.

“We always go on the coach. It’s a bit easier than getting on the train. Also the atmosphere on the coaches can be good fun.”

David Tierney, from Fulwood, has supported North End for 40 years.

The 60-year-old said: “It’s not easy being a North End fan but we have to keep the faith.

Leaving Deepdale for Wembley are brothers Louis and Daniel McLoughlin

Leaving Deepdale for Wembley are brothers Louis and Daniel McLoughlin

“I think Garner has been my player of the season. I have liked his goals and his attitude. He gives 100 per cent every time he plays.

“I’m quite happy with Grayson. A lot of people moan about his negative tactics but I think he’s done alright. I would be happy for him to stay. He’s pulled us back from where we were.”

James Birnie, 26, from Chorley, said: “I’ve never been to Wembley before. I’ve been watching them all season and wanted to go.”

Debbie Seers, 51, from Freckleton, went to Wembley with her 14-year-old son Oliver.

She said: “I went to Wembley many years ago but my son hasn’t, so this is his chance to go and support his team at Wembley.”

Dominic Finley, 24, from Preston, said: “The season has been alright. I have been to a lot of games, especially home games. I was a bit gutted when we were at Colchester.

“Grayson has done very well. We had a bit of a blip in January but he turned it round.”

Peter Halton, 52, from Bolton, said: “The season has been brilliant. Some games have not been as good as they could have been, but you can’t score six goals every match.

“Simon has a good record for us and he has the experience.

“Getting Jermaine Beckford here was an amazing signing. His goals have come in and he has launched us up here.”