How do I get there?
After the mammoth trip that some of you absolute madmen and women undertook on Tuesday night, at least our trip to Deepdale isn’t as mentally taxing. It’s a fairly straightforward journey down and will have you back in the north-east in time for X Factor (boy howdy!).
If you’re driving take the A1 (M) down to the forever-intriguingly named Scotch Corner and join the A66. When you reach Brough take the exit for the A685 following the signs for Kendal before joining the M6 at Tebay. Continue on to Preston exiting at junction 32 for the M55 and the B6241 once you the Hotel Ibis on your left hand side.
Deepdale is well signposted from the motorway and while around the ground is mainly street parking there is a car park open at an eye-watering £12.50 per car.
Getting the train down? Great choice. Deepdale is around a mile and a half away from Preston Railway Station making it fairly walkable. However, it might be a better idea to simply hop in a taxi from the city centre.
A Love Supreme coaches leave from the Stadium of Light at 9am with fares costing £26. Book your place here.
Where can I get the sesh started?
Now I’m not one for advocating social peer-pressure, but watching Billy Jones miserably endeavour to catch a lumbering Preston centre-forward is going to require a little Dutch courage. Luckily, the good alehouses of Lancashire’s newest city will be able to give you that pre-match sense of optimism that we are not about to get our arses handed to us by the 1941 Football League War Cup winners.
The options for slinging pints close to Deepdale are a little limited with The Sumners at the top of Sir Tom Finney Way the usual go-to tavern for travelling supporters. Your best bet is to venture into the city centre where it is simply brimming with places to park yourself.
Preston’s Street of Sesh is Friargate with a whole host of boozers lining the road. Start off with a real ale in the Old Black Bull, try to keep down two Jagerbombs for a fiver in The Grey Friar opposite and then try to fit in with a bunch of fresh-faced students at Roper Hall.
At the very top of the street is the Adelphi which backs onto The University of Central Lancashire and is a great spot to watch the early kick-off between two teams who are exponentially better than us.
I’m staying owa, is there owt to do?
*extremely Fred Dibnah voice*
Did you know that the city (yes, it’s a city) of Preston can boast over 160 miles of footpaths and bridleways? Well, I certainly didn’t. There’s so many bloody places you can walk to and have a good old think about utterly cack Sunderland are. Hey, why not sack the match off completely and just go for a lovely walk? Walks are lovely.
You could walk to Harris Museum’s monument to ‘Literature, Arts and Science’, go and stare at some steam trains or even look at how bloody nice Avenham & Miller Parks is. Ah, that sounds really relaxing doesn’t it? No, Lamine Kone there to ruin your afternoon - maybe feed some ducks or just have a nice sit and watch the world go by.
Alternatively, you could have an absolute mad one at Bass Klinic with DJ Hazard at 53 Degrees or honour Preston’s house music past (?????) at the Green 20th Anniversary at Rift and Co Attic. In the morning, you can put off clawing your brain out at the Lancashire Honey Show at Brockholes Nature Reserve.
Lovely, lovely honey.
Is the ground any good?
Every time I think of Deepdale I always recall that quip 2002’s Helen Chamberlain dropped like fire all those years ago. Chamberlain, at the peak of her Soccer AM influence, commented that Preston’s home since the beginning of time was the only place where you could sit on Bill Shankly’s face. “I’m sure he wouldn’t have minded!”, she remarked.
Oh boy, did we laugh. I miss you Helen, where did you go? We need your jovial Torquay United anecdotes to lighten up this dark world. These winter nights seem so long now you no longer on our Saturday morning television sets. I hope you’re happy wherever you are.
Deepdale is actually a pretty nice ground. They’ve binned off that absolute shed of a Pavilion Stand and replaced it with the shiny, new Invincibles Pavilion Stand to finally provide a slice of equilibrium to a previous lop-sided stadium. We will have the privilege of sitting or standing on messr Shankly’s face in the Kop adorning his name, behind the goal.
You’ll have no problem watching us concede goal after goal as the view is excellent, and you can chuck beer around until your heart’s content in the spacious concourse.