Preston North End make appeal to fans not to run on the pitch to ask for players' shirts

Preston North End have appealed to young souvenir-hunting fans to stay off the Deepdale pitch at the end of matches.

By Dave Seddon
Monday, 11th April 2022, 11:14 am

After Saturday’s 2-1 win against Queens Park Rangers, some children ran on to the pitch to ask players to give them their shirts.

It has happened before at Deepdale and is an issue at other clubs too.

PNE skipper Alan Browne was one of the players to let a youngster have his shirt following the QPR game.

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Preston North End skipper Alan Browne gave his shirt away to a young fan after the win against Queens Park Rangers

North End don’t want to be seen an killjoys but point out that is illegal for fans to run on to the pitch. They want to encourage interaction between players and supporters in a proper setting.

In a statement released on Monday morning, the club said: “Following the events on the pitch after the final whistle at Saturday's home game against QPR, the club would like to remind all supporters, regardless of age, that entering the field of play is an offence.

“A number of young supporters made their way on to the pitch at full-time in order to ask players for their shirts. While we understand the excitement of matchdays for our young fans, this behaviour is unacceptable.

Parents, guardians and/or responsible adults are expected to be in control of the children in their care when attending fixtures and the club reserves the right to take action against those who allow their children to enter the field of play.

“We appreciate this behaviour is from a minority of our supporters, and we would like to thank all of our young supporters and their families who respect our ground regulations.

“Should this happen going forward, first team players will not give their shirts to any individual who enters the pitch, and all incidents of this nature will be followed up by the ground safety team.

“Please note the club does not wish to restrict opportunities for young supporters to meet their heroes, however we must ensure that this is done in the correct manner and in the right environment.”

Players happily sign autographs when arriving and leaving the ground, while they have given away shirts at times when going to the fans in the stand rather than people coming on to the pitch.