Preston North End Gentry Day ring around brings joy to senior PNE supporters

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Preston North End players past and present took part in a Gentry Day ring around to bring cheer to fans during the lockdown.

More than 60 senior season ticket holders were contacted on the phone by players from the current PNE squad, those who have worn the famous white shirt in the past, so too North End manager Alex Neil.

It formed part of the Gentry Day 2020 celebrations on Saturday which had to be done differently this year because of football's shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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North End were due to play Brentford at Griffin Park, the third time Gentry Day was going to be held at the home of the Bees.

Fans were asked via social media to nominate a senior supporter to receive a phone call.

The calls enabled those supporters to have a chat about North End, reminisce about days gone by and just enjoy some company during these weeks of isolation.

A number of the first-team squad took part including club captain Tom Clarke, Paul Gallagher, Alan Browne, Paul Huntington and David Nugent.

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The clock was wound back too, with some former Deepdale favourites hitting the phones.

Preston midfielder Paul GallagherPreston midfielder Paul Gallagher
Preston midfielder Paul Gallagher | jpimedia

Gareth Ainsworth, who had three spells with PNE and is now manager of Wycombe Wanderers, got involved, so too Graham Alexander and his assistant boss Chris Lucketti who are now in charge at Salford.

Jonathan Macken, Ian Bryson, Matt Hill, Alan Kelly, Lee Ashcroft, Paul McKenna, Graeme Atkinson and David Eyres were all on the phone for a chat.

North End manager Neil told PNE's official website: "The history of the club, for the hardcore fans especially, they like to go back and dwell on it.

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"They like talking about Sir Tom Finney, the traditions of the club in general and the Invincibles. It is no surprise that the club is known as ‘Proud Preston’.

Former PNE winger Gareth Ainsworth, now manager of WycombeFormer PNE winger Gareth Ainsworth, now manager of Wycombe
Former PNE winger Gareth Ainsworth, now manager of Wycombe | pa

"There is definitely - from all the different clubs I have been at through my time as a player and a manager – a real inner pride, certainly for the fans in things like Gentry Day.

"To have a particular day to remember people who have been PNE fans and family who have passed on, really is quite deep and meaningful."

Gentry Day was first held in 2005 and has been an annual fan-led event since 2008.

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An away game in the second-half of the season is chosen to remember PNE fans no longer with us.

Alan Ball Snr first labelled North End supporters as the 'Gentry' in September 1970, the Preston manager of the day praising their loyalty in following the team up and down the country.