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Full name Deepdale Stadium
Location Sir Tom Finney Way, Preston, England, PR1 6RU
Coordinates 53°46′20″N 2°41′17″W / 53.77222°N 2.68806°W / 53.77222; -2.68806Coordinates: 53°46′20″N 2°41′17″W / 53.77222°N 2.68806°W / 53.77222; -2.68806
Built 1860
Opened 1878 (for PNE)
Capacity 23,408[1]
Field dimensions 110 x 77 yards
Preston North End F.C. (1878–present)
Lancashire Lynx (1996-2000)

Deepdale is a stadium in the Deepdale area of Preston, England, the home of Preston North End F.C. and England's National Football Museum. Preston North End are one of the founder members of the Football League. [2] Of all the founder members, Preston and Burnley F.C. (Turf Moor Stadium) are the only teams still playing at their original grounds. Since the English Football League was the first ever professional football league to form, Deepdale is the oldest continually-used site for league football in the world.



The land originally was Deepdale Farm and was used by the cricket and rugby teams of which spawned the football side. Leased on January 21, 1875 by the town's North End sports club, it hosted its first association football match on October 5, 1878. The league record attendance for PNE at Deepdale is 42,684 v Arsenal F.C. in the First Division, 23 April 1938.

All four of the stands have now been replaced by new all seated structures named after famous players to grace PNE over the years. These are Tom Finney, Bill Shankly, Alan Kelly and the newly opened The Invincibles stand.

The old 'Pavilion' stand, now called the Invincibles Pavilion, was first opened for the 2008/2009 season. It is named after the Preston North End team of 1888/1889 season who were the first football team ever to go an entire season unbeaten in the league and also the first to complete the league and F.A. Cup double.[3][4] Deepdale now has a capacity of 23,408 and is now an all seater stadium after the completion of the final stand which also includes a row of executive boxes. [5]

The woman's team Dick, Kerr's Ladies also called Deepdale home, often beating men's professional teams and attracting crowds of up to 53,000. [6] Reflecting this history, the venue was used during the 2005 UEFA Women's Championship.

The nearby Deepdale railway station closed to regular passenger services on 31 May 1930.

National Football Museum

In early 2005, the National Football Museum based at Deepdale decided to launch an appeal to UNESCO to make Deepdale a World Heritage Site as the home of professional football.

The National Football Museum logo. Includes a tan-coloured "T-Ball" football.

Located at the Deepdale stadium in Preston, the museum opened in June 2001. It is an independent charity holding the following collections:

At any time, around 2,000 items from the museum’s collections are on display, with a further 30,000 items held. Key items include:

  • One of the two balls used in the first World Cup Final in 1930.
  • The ball from the 1966 World Cup Final.
  • The replica of the Jules Rimet Trophy, made in secret by the FA in 1966 after the original was stolen, and paraded by the England players at the World Cup Final in 1966.
  • The England captain’s jersey and cap from the world’s first official international football match, England v Scotland, in 1872.
  • The world’s oldest women’s football kit, from the 1890s.
  • The football shirt worn by Diego Maradona when he scored the infamous "hand of god" goal against England in the 1986 World Cup.

Old Deepdale

As football grew in popularly, it became necessary to have raised areas, so the idea for football terracing was formed. In the 1890s Preston built the west paddock, which ran along the touch line and a tent was erected to house the changing rooms. At the turn of the century crowds started to grow with crowds of over 10,000 and in 1921 they had to expand again. The Spion Kop was built and the West Paddock was extended to meet the Kop end. The pitch was removed down to allow the building of the Town End. A state of design was installed into the Paddocks and Kop End allowing fans to move under the terracing. The Town End was completed in approximately 1928 but was destroyed by fire only five years later. The Pavilion Stand, a relatively small stand of 2 tiers holding the changing rooms and offices, was built in its place and opened in 1934. This allowed a PNE record crowd of 42,684 against Arsenal on the 23 April 1938.

During the 60s - 80s, big changes took place as roofs were placed on the stands, seating was installed and terracing extended. [7]

New Deepdale

The regeneration of Deepdale began in 1995 when the old West Stand was demolished to make way for the new £4.4m Sir Tom Finney Stand which has a capacity of around 8,000 and includes press areas and restaurants. The next stand to be developed was the Bill Shankly Kop in 1998. The National Football museum runs underneath these stands with the entrance at the corner of the two. The Alan Kelly Town End was next to be built replacing the popular Town End terrace. The opening match saw Jon Macken score to give Preston North End a 2-1 victory over Manchester City.

The old Pavilion terrace was closed in 2006, however fans could still use the seated upper tier until it was eventually demolished in 2007. In 2008, the new Invincibles Pavilion opened to complete the regeneration of Deepdale, giving it a new capacity of 23,408. The Invincibles Pavilion includes a row of executive boxes and a restaurant which overlooks the pitch as well as the security box and an NHS walk-in centre has also been built into the stand. In 2008, a 25 metre screen was also erected on the roof of the Bill Shankly Kop which shows action from the game as well as highlights and advertisements prior to kick off.

The original plans for the re-developed stadium were inspired by the Stadio Luigi Ferraris Stadium in Italy.[8]

Plastic Pitch

In 1986, Preston North End decided to lay an all weather pitch to try and generate some extra income for the club by renting the pitch to local teams to play on, to reduce the number of postponed matches as well as enabling the use of the Deepdale pitch as a training ground. This proved to be unpopular with the fans and was eventually ripped up in 1994 and replaced with grass.

Sir Tom Finney Statue

Outside the Sir Tom Finney Stand, is a statue of the famous player himself. The statue unveiled in July 2004, was inspired by a photo taken at the Chelsea versus PNE game played at Stamford Bridge, in 1956. After a large downpour before kick off, parts of the pitch were covered in water, but the game was still allowed to start. Whilst with the ball and having just got around a defender Finney ended up in one of the pools of water. A photographer captured the moment and the photo later won the 'Sports Photograph Of The Year Award'.[9]

The statue sculpted by Sardarjee Om Puri, pays tribute to the player and that 'splash' moment.

Lancashire Lynx

In the late 1990s, local rugby league side Lancashire Lynx played their home games at Deepdale, this proved to be an unsuccessful and short stay before they moved to Chorley in 2000.


External links


Simple English

Deepdale is a football stadium in Preston, England.

It is the stadium of Preston North End F.C. and it is the site of the National Football Museum in England. Preston North End are one of the first teams to play in England's football league and they have played at Deepdale since they first started. Deepdale is the oldest league stadium in the world.

Since 1995 Deepdale has changed a lot, the old stands have been knocked down and now it has brand new all seater stands. Now that the changes are finished, the stadium has 23,408 seats. Other changes made include a new big screen TV to show highlights of the match and new executive boxes where Preston North End's owners and their guests sit.


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