Benevolent Preston North End fans dig deep for derby with Blackpool

Two huge surfer flags have been brought in after £6,000 was raised via donations on the PNE Online forum.

A further £650 has been raised by PNE Online, which will be donated to the PNE Community and Education Trust to provide tickets to fans who would otherwise be unable to attend the game for financial reasons.

The Championship clash with Blackpool falls on what would have been Sir Tom Finney’s 100th birthday.

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One of the giant surfer flags will feature a picture of Sir Tom, the other an image of the Preston skyline at night with Deepdale in the centre.

Both flags will be ‘surfed’ over fans’ heads before the match and will provide a great spectacle for fans on the ground and those watching on TV – the match is being shown live on Sky Sports.

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Fans were able to vote for the designs on the flags and the amount of donations enabled the organizers to order two flags.

Preston North End Deepdale Land

A spokesperson for PNE Online said: We had thousands of votes across all platforms for both flags and thank you all for participating.

It is the first time North End have met Blackpool at Deepdale since August 2013, when Tom Clarke captained the winners to a League Cup tie.

The league’s last meeting in Preston dates back to February 2010.

In October, PNE were beaten 2-0 at Bloomfield Road in the reverse game.

The April 5 clash in the floodlights will draw an exceptional crowd. North End has split the Bill Shankly Kop in half so local fans can be at that end of the field.

This was also done for games against Reading and Bournemouth and will be repeated for the visit of Queens Park Rangers on April 9.

The North End’s biggest league crowd so far this season is 18,092 for the game against Derby County in October – it was the first game after the death of PNE owner Trevor Hemmings.

There was a full house of 22,131 for the Carabao Cup game against Liverpool a fortnight later.

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