Deepdale hosts schools’ finals

PNE's Deepdale stadium

PNE's Deepdale stadium

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Preston Schools are holding their annual finals at Deepdale on Saturday.

Youngsters from a number of local schools will be chasing silverware on Preston North End’s pitch.

There will be seven matches over the course of the day, with organisers managing to secure sponsorship for each one.

The action starts early at 9am, with Our Lady’s Catholic High School playing Archbishop Temple for the Under-14s girls Dixon Cup.

In the Under-11s boys Harold Slater Shield, Our Lady and St Edward’s RC Primary School will take on Broughton CE Primary at 10.10am.

The Mick Baxter Cup for Under-12s boys will see Broughton and Corpus Christi locks horns, that match kicking off at 10.50am.

At noon, Our Lady’s High and Broughton compete for the Under-13s Jack May Cup.

It is the same two schools in the Under-14s boys William Dawson Cup, that game having a 1.10pm start.

In the Ord/Hargreaves Cup for Under-15s boys, Ashton High School play Corpus Christi, kick-off 2.20pm.

The last game is the Lucas Shield Under-16s boys at 3.30pm, with Archbishop Temple playing Ashton High.

Admission is £3 adults and £1 concesssion, with the programme priced £1. Food will be available inside the ground.

The Preston schools’ finals date back to the 1900s and a number of players who played in them have gone on to play professionally.

Sir Tom Finney, Kevin Kilbane, Alan Kelly and Andrew Lonergan, all turned out for their respective schools down the years.

For many years, the finals were organised by Dick Clegg, a much respected and popular teacher in Preston. He sadly passed away in 2014.

Paul Whelan, a teacher at Sherwood Primary and Corpus Christi’s Stuart Horn, are now the organisers.

Whelan said: “Some of the trophies being played for date back to 1907.

“The schools’ finals are a big tradition in Preston and fondly remembered by those who have taken part over the years.

“With each school having squads of 15, we will have more than 200 children taking part in finals day.

“It is great that the finals are back at Deepdale this year. Last year, North End reaching the play-offs meant that we had to stage them at Myerscough College.

“North End have been brilliant with us, helped with the organisation and we are thankful to them.

“For the children to get the chance to play at Deepdale, on the same pitch as the Preston team, is magnificent.

“This is all carrying on the great work which Dick Clegg did with Preston Schools.

“He organised the finals for many years, tirelessly working to make sure everything ran smoothly.”