A virtual Gentry Day for Preston North End supporters when the Lilywhites take on Nottingham Forest

For a second season running Preston North End supporters will hold a Gentry Day with a twist.

By Dave Seddon
Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 12:30 pm

The Lilywhites faithful aren’t allowing the pandemic to stop their unique act of remembrance.

A virtual celebration will be held when PNE play their final game of the season at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Gentry Day started in 2005 and has been an annual event since 2008.

Preston North End fans on Gentry Day at Fulham's Craven Cottage in March 2017

Results on the pitch on Gentry Day have not always matched the joyous nature of events off it. But the spirit of the occasion goes beyond the football itself.

It is a chance for North End supporters to remember those fans and former players no longer with us.

Many choose to wear a bowler hat and suit in a nod to the ‘Gentry’ – the name given to PNE followers by Alan Ball Snr during the 1970/71 Third Division title-winning season.

Today (Tuesday) is the 50th anniversary of them winning the title, beating Rotherham 3-0 to dramatically snatch it away from Fulham.

PNE striker Sean Maguire joined in with the spirit of Gentry Day after the 3-1 win at Bolton in March 2018

A traditional Gentry Day wasn’t possible last year when Covid-19 forced the season to be paused for three months.

It had been due to take place in April when North End played at Brentford.

That fell during football’s shutdown, so instead fans and PNE staged it virtually.

Preston players, former players and club staff had phone calls with older fans who were shielding.

A year on we have football but only in empty stadiums, so Gentry Day will be a virtual event once again.

Fans are being encouraged to get into the spirit of the day while they watch the City Ground clash on iFollow.

PNE are putting together a tribute to those fans no longer with us, which will be shared on the day.

Those who want loved ones and friends to feature in the tribute are asked to send a photo, short message or audio clip to [email protected] before 5pm on Wednesday.

The last ‘live’ Gentry Day was in April 2019 when PNE played West Bromwich.

On the day of the game there was much speculation doing the rounds over Albion’s interest in Alex Neil, that putting a cloud on the day.

The season before was much more of a success, PNE winning 3-1 at Bolton.

In 2017, Gentry Day was held at Fulham’s Craven Cottage. It was in the capital at Queens Park Rangers where the first Gentry Day was held in February 2005.

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