Memory match: Burnley v PNE

John Thomas, left, scored twice for Preston in a 4-1 victory over Burnley  at Turf Moor in 1986 in the old Fourth Division
John Thomas, left, scored twice for Preston in a 4-1 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor in 1986 in the old Fourth Division
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Preston North End’s 4-1 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor in October 1986 symbolised the start of the club’s renaissance.

The previous season had seen North End finish second from bottom in the Fourth Division and suffer the ignominy of applying for re-election.

Fortunately, the authorities looked favourably on its first ever league champions and North End were reprieved.

Determined not to suffer such humiliation again, John McGrath was installed as the club’s new manager over the summer and he set about reviving its fortunes.

Armed with a new pitch at Deepdale – a plastic one – McGrath made a raft of new signings, such as Les Chapman, as player-coach, Oshor Williams, Ronnie Hildersley, Frank Worthington, Alex Jones and Sam Allardyce, to name but a few.

After a fairly indifferent start to the season, North End caught fire on one mild October Saturday afternoon, as they walloped their local rivals.

With a considerable visiting support packing out the away section on the old Longside terracing at Turf Moor – and one or two North Enders in the home stands –the visitors handed out a footballing lesson to the Clarets.

Gary Brazil and John Thomas – who would go on to score more than 20 league goals that season – hit two each.

North End went on to seal automatic promotion – finishing in second spot, nine points behind eventual champions Northampton Town. Since that day, North End have enjoyed some excellent away wins at Turf Moor. The Second Division championship winners of 2000 recorded a fine 3-0 victory over Burnley.

And a certain Paul Gallagher was in the North End starting XI during a 3-2 success in East Lancashire in December 2007.

Arguably the most dramatic match between the two teams was the last league encounter at Turf Moor in 2010. The Clarets won 4-3 despite trailing 3-1 with just six minutes to go – North End bogeyman Chris Iwelumo scoring a hat-trick for the home side.

“Preston were one of my lucky teams, I scored a hat-trick against them for Wolves as well,” Iwelumo said.

“It was one of those days...we had played Swansea away in the game before, and I didn’t train for two weeks. I went away with Scotland to be assessed and was sent back.

“I finally trained on the Friday before the Preston game and Brian Laws gave me the thumbs up and said I was starting.

“I had the kinesio tape on and wasn’t mobile, but I went in early in the morning and did a lot of work with the physio on my hamstring, and managed to come through.

“The first goal was a header from a corner to put us ahead, but we were 3-1 down when Billy Jones was sent off.

“We started pinning them back, getting on top, and I managed to come up with two goals – a volley after Grezza chipped a ball in, and another header from another Grezza cross.”

“It wasn’t quite the perfect hat-trick, but not far off!”