Preston North End sendings-off not a new thing - dismissals down the years
Red cards never seemed to be far from the conversation at Preston North End last season.
Referees brandished eight reds at five North End players in 2018/19 – the joint highest number in a campaign for the Lilywhites.
It matched the 2003/04 term when eight dismissals were spread across six players – Ricardo Fuller and Marlon Broomes were sent off twice.
Midfielder Ben Pearson was last season’s bad boy, with three red cards.
Ryan Ledson was not far behind with two, with Darnell Fisher, Josh Earl and Chris Maxwell also taking an early dip in the bath.
Fisher’s red card in the 1-0 derby victory at Blackburn was the 150th dismissal PNE had down the years – Pearson and Ledson were to take that figure up to 152.
It includes Craig Brown and Gary Peters (when he was assistant to John Beck) being ordered from the dugout.
Lifelong PNE supporter Mike Payne, author of the books ‘Proud Preston’ and ‘Loud and Proud Preston’, has gone through the records to compile the dishonourable list of sendings-off.
Billy Stewart was the first in the 1891/92 season during a 5-1 victory over Burnley at Deepdale.
That was one of nine known sendings-off before World War I shut down the Football League.
Only two Preston players were sent off in the 1920s and 30s, one in the 1940s and none in the 1950s.
In the 1960s, Jim McNab and Tony Singleton got their marching orders.
North End had only four sendings-offs in the 1970s, two of those for defender Gary Williams.
It was only in 1976 that red cards were introduced to the English game after being used in the 1970 World Cup for the first time.
The cards were then removed from use in England between 1981 and 1987.
Peter Litchfield was the first North End goalkeeper to be sent off, dismissed in a 3-0 defeat at Newport County in February 1983.
John Kelly and Tommy Booth became the first PNE players to be dismissed in the same game, that being in a an extraordinary 6-4 defeat at Plymouth in September 1984.
The same fate befell Bob Atkins and Simon Gibson the next season at Colchester.
Micky Norbury’s red card in 1993 against Stockport was PNE’s 50th sending-off, with Claude Davis bringing up the century when he walked at Crystal Palace in 2005.