Inspiration for Preston North End’s Deepdale design has passed away due to Covid-19 virus

The name Vittorio Gregotti might not mean a lot to Preston North End fans but he was the inspiration behind how Deepdale looks today.

By Dave Seddon
Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 5:00 pm

Gregotti sadly passed away this week at the age of 92, having contracted Covid-19 in his native Italy.

A modernist architect, one of Gregotti’s big works was a redesign of the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa for Italia ’90.

It was his design on which PNE based the redevelopment of Deepdale.

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Preston North End’s Deepdale ground

Lifelong North End fan and designer Ben Casey drew up the plans for the ground in the mid 1990s.

The similarities between the Ferraris and Deepdale, in particular, are in the corners of the stadiums.

Both have the floodlight towers which are attached to the roof structure by diagonal metal rigging.

This rigging also continues across the roof of the stands.

The Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa

While Deepdale’s seats are in single-tier stands, the Ferraris’ stands have two tiers.

Gregotti was also behind the renovation of the Barcelona’s Olympic Stadium for the 1992 Games.

Built in 1929, it had fallen into disrepair since 1955.

Gregotti chose to keep the original walls and towers of the stadium and revamped the interior.

Vittorio Gregotti

The redevelopment of Deepdale started in 1995 following the Baxi takeover, with the Sir Tom Finney Stand opened in 1996 to replace the West Stand.

The Bill Shankly Kop was the next stage of the rebuild, then the Alan Kelly Town End in 2001.

In 2007, the Pavilion Stand was knocked down and the Invincibles Stand opened the following year.

It is an eye-catching design, far removed from the bland, wraparound grounds which have sprung up.