HistoryPreston North End was founded in 1863, originally as a club, and played their first matches at the Marsh near the in the suburb of Ashton. Later that year, they switched to Moor Park in the north of the town, calling themselves "North End" in recognition of the new location. On 21 January 1875, the club leased a field opposite Moor Park on the site of the current stadium, which has been its home ever since. The club formed a team in 1877 as a winter fitness activity but this was not a success and, a year later, they played their first game under the rules of association football. In May 1880, a proposal to fully adopt the association code was unanimously accepted and Preston North End Football Club was officially founded. Preston became one of the first professional clubs by hiring players from Scotland. The players who came from Scotland to play in England in those days were known as the . In , they beat Hyde 26–0 in the first round of the FA Cup, still a record winning margin in English first-class football. Scottish forward Jimmy Ross scored eight goals in the match before going on to score 19 goals in the competition that season, also still a record. In 1888–89, Preston became the first league champions and the first winners of " The Double", becoming the only team to date to go throughout an entire season unbeaten in both the league and – winning the FA Cup without conceding a goal.In The team did so with a majority of their team being made up of Scottish players (the , also achieved an unbeaten season in the top flight, but they went out of the FA Cup at the semi-final stage. ). In a contribution to Paul Agnew's 1989 biography of , the player himself wrote: "The club has long been known as Proud Preston, and the Old Invincibles of the previous century set some incredible standards". The author wrote elsewhere: "...and that team became immortalised as the 'Old Invincibles'". Other sources call the team "The Invincibles" and both versions of the nickname have been used. In his autobiography, Finney wrote: "The championship stayed with North End — by now tagged the Old Invincibles — the following year, but runners-up spot had to suffice for the next three seasons". As Finney said, Preston were league champions again in 1889–90, but have not won the title since. In total, they have been league runners-up six times, including the three consecutive seasons from 1890 to 1891 to 1892–93, and twice in the 1950s when Finney was playing. The club's last major trophy win was in the when they defeated 1–0 and the team included , and goalscorer . Preston's most famous player, , joined the club as a teenager in 1938. His first team debut was delayed until 1946 by the but he played for Preston until he retired in 1960. He was nicknamed the "Preston Plumber" because of his local business. Finney remains the club's top goalscorer, with 187 goals from 433 appearances, and also scored 30 international goals for in 76 appearances. A year after Finney's retirement, Preston were relegated to the and have not played in the top division since. They had a memorable season in 1963–64 when, managed by former player Jimmy Milne, they finished third in the Second Division and reached the where they lost a thrilling match 3–2 to . Preston were first relegated to the after the 1969–70 season. Although they won promotion again immediately, the team have spent 28 of the 49 seasons since 1970 in the bottom two divisions, including a span of 19 seasons from 1981 to 1982 to 1999–2000. The club experienced a near-terminal decline in the 1980s which brought about the very real threat of closure, the nadir being the 1985–86 season when they finished 23rd in the and had to seek re-election to the league. Under manager John McGrath, the team recovered and won promotion back to the Third Division only a year later but it was a false dawn as the team spent another three years in the bottom division from 1993 to 1996. The club finally began to recover and move forward after a takeover by heating manufacturer in 1994 but their ownership ended in June 2002. The team's central defender , then aged 34, began his managerial career when appointed by the Baxi-controlled board in February 1998. Moyes was successful and managed the team to the third tier championship in 2000. Preston reached the 2001 play-off final but were defeated by . In the 2005 play-off final, under Moyes' successor , Preston were beaten 1–0 by West Ham United. Following the Baxi sell-off and the departure of Moyes to Everton in 2002, the team was established at second tier level through the 2000s but more problems arose at the end of the decade with an winding-up order in 2010 and relegation to the third tier in 2011. The taxation issue was resolved by local businessman , already a shareholder, who bought a controlling interest in June 2010. The team were promoted again, via the play-offs, in 2015 and have been well-placed in the since then. Deepdale was the original cricket club's home from 1875 and has been a football venue from 1878. It is the world's oldest football ground in terms of continuous use by a club in a major league. When Baxi took control, it embarked on an investment programme which had the main goal of upgrading Deepdale into a modern stadium. The old ground was demolished and rebuilt in four stages and the last of the new stands was opened in 2008. Part of the redevelopment was the original which opened at Deepdale in 2001, but it was relocated to Manchester in 2012 after being closed for two years.
GroundThe site of the current Deepdale stadium was first leased by the club in 1875 and was first used for association football in 1878. The biggest attendance seen was 42,684 for a Division One clash with Arsenal in April 1938. Following a complete reconstruction between 1996 and 2009, the stadium has a seated capacity of 23,404. The current pitch dimensions are 110 x 75 yards.
StatueOutside the Sir Tom Finney Stand is a statue of the famous player himself, which is known as "The Splash" or the "Tom Finney Splash". The statue, sculpted by Peter Hodgkinson and unveiled in July 2004, was inspired by a famous photograph taken at the versus PNE game in 1956, played at Stamford Bridge in particularly wet conditions.
1913 terrorist incidentAn attempt was made to destroy the ground in 1913. As part of the , carried out a series of bombings and arson attacks nationwide during their campaign for women's suffrage. In April 1913, suffragettes attempted to burn down Deepdale's grandstand but were foiled. In the same year, suffragettes succeeded in burning down 's then South London stadium, and also attempted to burn down ' ground. More traditionally male sports were targeted in order to protest against .
On loanon loan at
Technical staffBelow is a list of non-playing personnel:
Managerial historyThe following is a list of Preston North End managers since 1986, excluding caretakers:
League* (first tier)Up until 1992, the top division of ** Champions: 1888–89, 1889–90 ** Runners-up: 1890–91, 1891–92, 1892–93, was the ; since then, it has been the . Similarly until 1992, the was the second tier of league football, when it became the First Division, and is now known as The Championship. The third tier was the Third Division until 1992, and is now known as . , 1952–53, 1957–58 * Football League Second Division/Football League First Division/Championship (second tier) ** Champions: , 1912–13, 1950–51 ** Runners-up: 1914–15, 1933–34 ** Play-off Runners-up: , 2004–05 ** Play-off Semi-finalists: 2005–06, * Football League Third Division/Football League Second Division/League 1 (third tier) ** Champions: 1970–71, 1999–2000 ** Play-off Winners: 2014–15 ** Play-off Semi-finalists: 1988–89 Football League#Third Division play-offs, 1988–89, 1998–99 Football League#Second Division play-offs, 1998–99, 2013–14 Football League#Play-offs 2, 2013–14 *List of winners of English Football League Two and predecessors, Football League Fourth Division/Football League Third Division/League 2 (fourth tier) ** Champions: 1995–96 Football League, 1995–96 ** Runners-up: 1986–87 Football League, 1986–87 ** Play-off Runners-up: 1993–94 Football League#Third Division play-offs, 1993–94 ** Play-off Semi-finalists: 1994–95 Football League#Third Division play-offs, 1994–95
Cup* ** Winners: 1889 FA Cup Final, 1888–89, 1938 FA Cup Final, 1937–38 ** Runners-up: 1888 FA Cup Final, 1887–88, 1922 FA Cup Final, 1921–22, 1937 FA Cup Final, 1936–37, 1954 FA Cup Final, 1953–54, 1964 FA Cup Final, 1963–64 *FA Community Shield, FA Charity Shield ** Runners-up: 1938 FA Charity Shield, 1938 *Football League War Cup ** Winners: 1940–41 in English football, 1940–41 * Lancashire Senior Cup **Winners: 1886–87, 1892–93, 1894–95, 1899–1900, 1938–39, 1996–97
OtherIn 1996, Preston's Third Division title made them the third club to have been champions of all four professional leagues in English football. This feat has also been achieved by Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C., Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1988, local rivals Burnley F.C., Burnley in 1992, and both Sheffield United F.C., Sheffield United and Portsmouth F.C., Portsmouth in 2017.
Club records*Most Goals (Overall): , 210 goals from 473 appearances. *Most League Goals: Tom Finney, 187 goals from 433 appearances. *Most League Goals in a Season: Ted Harper, 37 in Football League Second Division, 1932-33 in English football, 1932–33 *Record Attendance: 42,684 v *Record Cup Victory: 26–0 v Hyde, FA Cup, 15 October 1887 *Record League Victory: 10–0 v Stoke City F.C., Stoke, Football League Division One, 14 September 1889 *Record Defeat: 0–7 v Blackpool F.C., Blackpool, Division 1, 1 May 1948 *Transfer Record (Paid): £2,000,000 for Tom Bayliss from Coventry City F.C., Coventry, August 2019 *Transfer Record (Received): £10,000,000 for Jordan Hugill to West Ham Utd, January 2018 *Youngest Ever Player: Ethan Walker 16 years and 156 days *Oldest Ever Player: Bob Kelly (footballer), Bob Kelly 41 years and two months
RivalsHistorically, Preston North End's main rivalry is with Blackpool F.C., Blackpool — the two clubs' grounds being seventeen miles apart — and the West Lancashire derby between the two clubs has been contested 96 times across all four divisions of the Football League and cup competitions since 1901. Preston's other local rivals in the league over the years include Blackburn Rovers F.C., Blackburn Rovers, Burnley F.C., Burnley, and Wigan Athletic A.F.C., Wigan Athletic.
SponsorsThe club's main sponsors, since shirt sponsorship was introduced in 1979, have been as follows:
Women's footballThe previously affiliated Women's association football, women's football team was called Preston North End W.F.C. In May 2016, they became Fylde Ladies F.C., in association with National League North side AFC Fylde.