Preston North End Gentry Day at Craven Cottage, 4 March
Preston North End fans have designated this weekend’s fixture against Fulham as their annual Gentry Day – and North End supporter Geoff Ollerton, one of the organisers, has kindly provided us with this explanation of the day’s history.
WHAT IS GENTRY DAY?
North End Gentry day is a fan organised event and is in memory of any Preston North End follower or player who may have passed away in the last 12 months.
The Gentry term was first used by third division championship winning manager Alan Ball Snr in the early 1970s stating to the Press after a game that “Preston fans are the best, they’re the gentry”.
This inspired a number of PNE fans to don bowler hats and even pin stripe suits at Deepdale and especially amongst a loyal band of away supporters.
In 2005 supporters organisation The Preston Supporters Group (PSG) arranged the “Return of the Gentry” in memory of John Tracey, a member of the original PNE Gentry who sadly passed away. This was a massive success and even saw North End’s players wearing the famed bowler hats on the pitch.
In 2008 with the support of PNE-Online and other supporters groups, PSG decided to make it an annual event for all North End fans and the people of Preston to remember anyone they may have lost during that season/year.
Last season over 4,500 North Enders travelled the short distance to Horwich with huge numbers donning suits and bowlers and supporting Gentry Day with the players once again getting involved in the day.
Gentry Day has now become a proud tradition for the folk of Preston and it’s football club and has been well received by supporters of all the clubs chosen as hosts over the years.
We are sure all supporters will once again will be pulling out all the stops to make this season’s Gentry Day at Fulham a great day in the PNE fans’ calendar. A football special train has already sold out.
As ever the football club and the Lancashire Post will be backing this fan led event to help spread the word of The Gentry.