Gentry Day debut for PNE boss Alex Neil

Alex Neil is looking forward to experiencing Gentry Day for the first time as Preston North End manager.

IN PICTURES: Look back at Gentry Days through the years

PNE players celebrate with the fans at Bolton in 2016

PNE players celebrate with the fans at Bolton in 2016

North End supporters will carry out their annual act of remembrance for the 12th time when they make the trip to Bolton on Saturday.

By Wednesday morning, ticket sales have passed the 3,300 mark for the away end, with PNE also laying on a fleet of buses to transport fans down the M61.

Neil said: “I know this game is Gentry Day and so hopefully the fans will be there in good volume and good voice.

“I have been told all about Gentry Day, I know it is a big day for the fans and the club did something with the pricing which is good.

PNE manager Alex Neil

PNE manager Alex Neil

“Like everything else, the football will probably decide if it is a good day out or a bad day.”

There is a chance of Neil putting on a bowler hat at the Macron Stadium to match the fans – that will be result dependent.

The Scotsman said: “I could do with some flaps for my ears because they are freezing just now!

“I will probably leave the hat but if we win the match, I might wear a bowler hat afterwards.”

Eoin Doyle scores Preston's winner at Bolton on Gentry Day in 2016

Eoin Doyle scores Preston's winner at Bolton on Gentry Day in 2016

Organisation of Gentry Day hasn’t been the smoothest this year but things seem to have come together.

North End managed to persuade Bolton to put seats for the lower tier of the away end on sale first, those costing £30 compared to £35 in the upper tier.

The 2,600 lower tier seats sold-out last weekend.

PNE’s bus travel is just £5 per person, the club aware that no trains are running this weekend due to engineering works – 15 buses have so far been filled.

The first Gentry Day was held in February 2005 in memory of North End fan John Tracey who was a member of the PNE ‘Gentry’ in the early 1970s.

It has been held annually since 2008 and this will be the second time Bolton has been the venue, PNE winning 2-1 there in March 2016 thanks to goals from Jordan Hugill and Eoin Doyle.

Preston boss Alan Ball called fans the ‘Gentry’ in 1970 when praising their loyalty in travelling the country.

That led to supporters wearing bowler hats and suits for matches that season, one which finished with North End as Third Division champions.