Kind-hearted Preston North End fans dig deep for the derby clash with Blackpool

Preston North End supporters have dug deep into their pockets to raise money on two fronts ahead of the derby clash with Blackpool on April 5.
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Two huge surfer flags have been brought after £6,000 was raised via donations on the PNE Online forum.

A further £650 was raised by PNE Online which will be given to the PNE Community and Education Trust to provide tickets for fans who otherwise would not have been able to attend the game for financial reasons.

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The Championship clash with Blackpool falls on what would have been Sir Tom Finney’s 100th birthday.

One of the giant surfer flags will feature a picture of Sir Tom, the other an image of the Preston skyline at night with Deepdale at the centre of it.

Both flags will be ‘surfed’ over the heads of fans before the game and will provide a great spectacle for fans at the ground and those watching on television – the game is being broadcast live on Sky Sports.

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Fans were able to vote for the designs on the flags and the amount of donations meant organisers were able to order two flags.

Preston North End's Deepdale groundPreston North End's Deepdale ground
Preston North End's Deepdale ground
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A spokesman for PNE Online said: We have had thousands of votes across all platforms for both flags and we thank you all for taking part.”

It is the first time North End have met Blackpool at Deepdale since August 2013 when Tom Clarke headed the winner in a League Cup tie.

The last league meeting at Preston was back in February 2010.

In October, PNE were beaten 2-0 at Bloomfield Road in the reverse fixture.

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The April 5 clash under the lights will attract a bumper crowd. North End have divided the Bill Shankly Kop in two so that home fans can be at that end of the ground.

That was done too for the games against Reading and Bournemouth and will be repeated for Queens Park Rangers’ visit on April 9.

North End’s biggest league crowd so far this season is the 18,092 for the game against Derby County in October – it was the first match following the passing of PNE owner Trevor Hemmings.

There was a full house of 22,131 for the Carabao Cup game against Liverpool a fortnight later.