Now developers have finally got the nod to knock it down and build six terraced houses on the site in South Meadow Lane, not far from the city's cricket club.
The Cricketers had served ale in the Broadgate area of Preston for 145 years before it closed its doors in 2009, hit for six by the recession.
It opened in 1859 and one of its first landlords was Cornelius Coward, who played for Lancashire and England before eventually becoming professional for his hometown club down the road at West Cliff. He took over the pub in 1867.
His younger brother Frederick Coward was also a professional cricketer with Lancashire and then Preston. He too was landlord of the Cricketers for a short time.
Cornelius played 49 first class matches for Lancashire as a middle order batsman and right arm medium bowler. He was also described as a talented fielder.
His career-best score with the bat was 85 at Old Trafford against Middlesex. And the archives show he was bowled by the great WG Grace for 15 in a match against the MCC in 1869.
He later became an umpire and was in charge of the game in 1893 when Grace famously passed 38,500 runs.
After the pub closed in 2009 its owners were granted permission to demolish it in 2010 and replace it with houses. But the building has stood empty and derelict ever since, much to the annoyance of residents nearby.
Now a revised planning application has been approved and work on clearing the site is expected to start soon.
"The deteriorating condition of the building over the past decade, with no intervening use for the building having been brought forward, has been the source of much local critique by adjacent residents," said a report to the planning committee.
"The owners are keen oblige the local residents with the redevelopment but, as stated, are keen to optimise the quality of their development - which should also assist in enhancing adjacent property values anyway."