Fans flying the PNE flags

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A group of Preston North End supporters have been flying the flag for their club in recent months.

Seven PNE flags, bearing some eye-catching designs, have been commissioned and paid for by the fans with the backing of local companies.

They add a real touch of colour to games and more are in the pipeline.

Social media has been used to plan designs and appeal for donations, with the PNE Fans Flag twitter accounting having nearly 1,000 followers.

A spokesman for the group said: “During half-time at the game at Chesterfield last season, a few of us got chatting about getting a Joe Garner flag.

“The following evening, a Twitter appeal had raised nearly £500 from fan donations.

“We promptly purchased a Joe Garner flag and then continued to collect donations.

“The next flag was entitled ‘Legends’ and our designer Tom Catterall morphed the old with the new and we got this made up too.

“Next, we made a 50ft banner with the text ‘Preston North End – Pride of Lancashire’.

“Our next flag was designed by Phil Collins based on the iconic image from Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, reworking it around North End’s The Gentry.

“At every stage we have asked for feedback and voted on several designs so the fans have their say.

“Several Preston North End supporting companies have offered their financial support with donations and their logo appears in the corner of the flag.

“Frame The Game, BetSid, Branchmen and Bode Positioners have added much needed financial support.

“The flags have been well received at all the grounds and three of the flags went to Wembley to add colour to the Play Off final.

“This season we’ve had the Gentry Flag reprinted, while a ‘Super Tommy Clarke’ flag and the Pavilion Crest – supported by Garratt’s Insurance – have been produced.”

Unfortunately, one of the flags has gone missing and an appeal to track it down has so drawn a blank.

The fans flag spokesman said: “Before the play-off final at Wembley, the Gentry flag was passed over fans’ heads which looked fantastic.

“Unfortunately it did not return from Wembley and we have had no luck tracking it down.

“We hope that it will turn up soon because a lot of time and effort went into making it.

“If anyone took it home or knows where it might be, please get in contact.”

North End supporters have continued to travel in decent numbers to away games this season despite the struggles of the last month or so.

The visit to Sheffield Wednesday a week last Saturday saw 1,068 PNE fans make the trip despite it being £33 for an adult to pass through the turnstiles at Hillsborough.

Almost 1,000 made the trip to Brentford a fortnight earlier.

Before the last international break, Preston had a following of 1,335 at Hull, with 1,040 at the midweek trip to Rotherham and 1,208 travelling to MK Dons for the first away game in the Championship.

There is plenty of travelling to do in the coming few weeks for North End fans.

They have two long trips back-to-back later this month, with a Tuesday night visit to Charlton followed by the longest journey of the season to Brighton.

That will be a first visit for PNE to Albion’s Amex Stadium and it likely to attract a strong following.

A fortnight later, they head back south to face Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road, that always a popular away-day destination.

Later in November, North End complete their London games with a visit to Fulham.