2016/2017, Wolves away
Finally back on the road. This time for the last game of the season. The boys set up camp in Paddington – a nicer part of London. Aussi and Kula arrived early friday and spent the afternoon getting drunk while waiting for Nix. The plan to watch West Ham v Spurs at London stadium collapsed after some poor planning and half assed effort. We ended up watching the game at a students pub instead. Shit place, shit TV. Anyways a London derby was not why we came over. Neither was the Stevenage v Accrington game we went to see saturday but it was a nice time spent at Lamex stadium. The hope was that Stevenage would win and Blackpool loose or draw – that way Stevenage would pass Blackpool on the table and steal the last play-off spot. This did not happen. The donkey lashers won and Stevenage ended up loosing 0-3. Stevenage might have its sweet spots and it might be a place you can enjoy yourself but I have a suspicion we´ll never go there again. Unless they`re playing Preston that is.
2015/2016, Leeds United at home
This trip had it all. The game against a strong Leeds side with an even stronger away follow was put in the shadow by our PNE v PNE game at Deepdale on Sunday. Minty had arranged a game with mates to be playd on our Championship sides own gras. When you don´t play football weekly the pitch seems alot smaller watching football than trying to get back to defend after a hopeless counter attack.
A nice (very!!) warm and sunny Sunday noon we got our football shoes and full kits on and walked out on our very own theatre of dream – Deepdale Stadium. Nix was reppin us on the yellow side and The Bullit (as captain) led the lillywhites. A lot was said and done that has to be left on the pitch but in the end a beautifull game of football was playd that day – And for the first time in history TWO Norwegians wore the Preston jersey ON the pitch (dead tired though).
Another highlight from this weekend of many was watching Minty´s (school) boys winning their game early saturday morning. Great coaching and alot of talent we´ll hopefully see wearing the North End jersey (grown up version) in the future.
2014/2015, Swindon Town at Wembley
There was something special about this one. Not only did our boys fly in from different airports this time but we also brought Angus with us (and what a lucky charm he turned out to be). He and Nico flew in from Oslo and had quite a head start in the beer department. Angus had double figures in when I met up with him around 12:30. The pre game pub on the big day was the Allsop Arms in Baker street. There was a great atmosphere with close to all our closest lads present. Very happy to meet several other people we have gotten to know over the years and a few ones we haven´t met before. Great to meet you all lads! A spescial shout out to Alfie – Englands next great batsman.
At Wembley there was what I guess was the official Playoff Final party at a venue just next to the stadium. The atmosphere was kinda like a gipsy wedding and a prom moshed together. Less dancing though.. Hot as hell but with a beer in each hand to cool you down. But we had to move on, there was a game to be won.
This was our first trip to Wembley and after a quick wee behind the buger cart and yet another `meet and great´ outside the gates we entered the battleground. The game playd out perfectly for the Whites. To sum the whole thing up – One team was ready for Wembley, the other was ready for war. Being 3-0 up made halftime quite surreal. Happy faces and beer everywhere you looked. One though was shared by the 20,000 PNE fans dancing around – Even we can´t fuck this up. And we didn´t. Beckford put one more in the Swindon net (becoming the third player ever to score a hat-trick in a play off final at Wembley) and the score board said Congratulations Preston North End and God night Swindon Town.
Jan Åge Fjørtoft can you hear me?! – Your boys took a hell of a beating!
The best away trip ever is a privelege to have witnessed to be modest. Wonderfull people PNE fans, who deserved this so much. The Whites are up and we´ll be meeting the likes of Forest, Leeds, Cardiff and QPR next season. And of cours Burnley and Blackburn, don´t forget that! All this makes you forget trying to check into the wrong airport and ending up paying 150 quid in taxi fares. – We´re the one and only North End!
2014/2015, Manchester United at home
This trip started quite off when the game we had looked forward to – Notts County, away – got postponed because of the remarkable comback against the Blades. Some rearrangements had to be made and more money was thrown in to cover more nights at the hotel, more train tickets, new flights, a bit more food and a lot more alcohol.
As mentioned we had prepared for a day out on saturday so we needed to watch some kind of football being playd. The fixture Leeds v Milwall came to mind and we looked into that. But then we got a tip about another game not far from Preston. So we hopped on the Minty express and started the day out in an old police station turned pub. With ex old Bill John in our ranks we felt quite at home. The game was playd on a stadium – the Sir Tom Finney Stadium – with a capasity of 2,200, between two teams in the Northern Premier League Division One North. Bamber Bridge or just “The Brig” met Northwich Victoria and won 2-0 after goals scored by players who probably deserves being remembered but who are not. The club house bar had 18 different beers on tap and a wide selction of hot meals and everyone we met tried their best to make us feel at home. It was a nice visit to the 7th (or 8th?) tire of English football.
Preston haven´t seen an official fixture against Manchester United in over 40 years so the expectations where quite high. Coming into town on monday afternoon we felt certin that the game would turn out to be something special. Eighter we would loose quite badly or we`d win in a dramatic fashion. We met up with some of the lads on Hogarths before having a friendly game of fusball and some shots at the Old Wall Street. The last stop was Barnie´s – a classy joint where you´re told to keep your shoes on at all time – before getting in a cab heading for Deepdale. We never put on match reviews because you can read a much better one on the clubs website. Also ours would involve to many swearwords and such. We felt that 0-0 to half time was a small victory in it self. I´m not ashamed of saying that because I for one feared ugly numbers. The feeling of being up 1-0 is hard to describe so I´m not going to try. The minute of applause in memory of Sir Tom Finney was a nice touch and the Manchester loyals should have respected that. But that´s how it goes – money may buy trophys, but it can´t buy class.
Would be wrong not to adress the two Picadelly Rat´s concerts we got to see in Manchester. A hotdog suit has never looked so good. Thanks to all the lads for another great trip. Stay safe and we´ll see you later cha.
2014/2015, Oldham at home
This tour was mostly about Minty & Katie-cha`s wedding. And what a great wedding it was. The game was a nice event also and had we gotten our tickets in time we`d seen the goal aswell. A nice day out in the sun and a game that didn´t raise much pulse if I recall correctly. Great to see ALL the lads again. Weddings are great in that way. People show up for a wedding and people have fun at weddings. Kinda different from some Preston home games. But jokes aside it was great to visit Deepdale again. Next trip will be an away game. More fun at away games.
2013/2014, Tranmere away
What a great day out Tranmere away was. This game really manifested the “Joey Garner song”. At half time the hallways inside the stadium was bouncing with mental Prestonians taking over the place. “…WE WANT GINGER HAIR TOO!”. Our good friend Ronny was over for a Liverpool game and he dropped by at half time and stood with us. Very happy to finally have been to a game with the captain.
On the way home we experienced that the “bus for train” is not as tuned as we`re used to back home. When arriving by bus at the trainstation we were told that the train left 2 minuts ago. With a kinda already tight schedule we needed a quick fix and took to the streets to get a taxi. Normally you have to awoid getting run over by taxis every time you cross the street but this day there were no cabs to be seen. After more minuts than we had to spare we finally got a ride and urged the driver to step on it. He was an elderly chap originally from India living in Manchester.
– So where are you from lads? He asked us after a while. – Norway.. We responded. – I´ve lived in Norway for some years. – Oh yeah where? – Drammen, know where it is? – WE`RE FROM DRAMMEN MATE! Funny stuff. Luckily for us he drow like a true drammenser and we made it in time for take off.
2013/2014, Burnley away
So we got another local rival in the League Cup – Burnley, better known as the “The Dingles”. The hope was that this game would be as epic as the one against Blackpool. Little did we know that this would pretty much be the opposite.
When the Branch is on the move a lot of traveling will go down. Some odd 5 hours on at train to Oslo, another 30 min to the airport, and this time no planes where heading to Liverpool or Manchester so the destination was London and travel by train to Preston.
Before getting on the train going north a short visit to the Stone Island flag ship store was payed. Some hundred pounds lighter a first class seat was waiting on Euston station track 7. Besides eating some sandwiches and drinking whisky not much was done to pass time while traveling on first class for the first time. Not before we were 30 min away from Preston. I felt the need to drop some bombs and went to the WC. After 15 minuts of hard work I opened the door just to find the sweet girl I was sitting right opposite of standing outside waiting. I asked for another whiskey to accompany the awkwardness.
Minty was ready with wheels on when the train stopped at Preston station. A quick drive and some pints at The Sherwood and we got in to a mini buss with the lads heading for Burnley. Before entering the stadium getting some more beers in was in order. At the Dog Inn we got our drink on and some burgers across the street. Some decent burgers to say the least.
About here the story should have went on to be an epic legend passed on from father to son through generations. But that will probably not be the case for future Preston generations. Burnley on the other hand might live on the triumph a while. They beat a Preston side that for about 30 minutes played something that reminded me of football. I wish of all my heart that we had beaten the 6 fingered tramps of Turd Moor but they won fully deserved. The bastards.
So was this less than exciting game, played on a rather nippy tuesday night, worth traveling so far to watch? Was the money put in to getting there on time well spent? Was it worth using up two vacation days?
Hell yes. Preston till I die cha.
2013/2014, Wolves at home
To get to Preston a Branchman may have to travel by car, buss, tram, train, plane and cab. All of the above was taken into use this weekend. And incredibly enough everything went smooth. Not a single delay or shitty experience… apart from the 30 Leeds supporters on the plane.
After landing in Manchester we met up with Minty and the lads at some fancy pub. They had all been to the Ashes and were already in good shape (or what Kearnsey?)
After some not so fancy bars we got on the train to Preston. With no entertainment on the train we needed to create some of our own. To our great disappointment there were no lashers on board which made the banter pretty much a one way thing.
Norwegian beer was served and irish whiskey was spilt.
After a good nights sleep and a decent breakfast we met up with the lads at the Old Black Bull. The flag went up and the beers went down. Weather was amazing and everything was in place for a good day out. Would the football ruin it as it has a tendency to do?
First game of the season is always hard to predict and everything can happen. We all agreed upon the fact that meeting Wolves, the wounded giant, for the season opening was a good deal.
After 3 away matches in a row it was great to be back at Deepdale. The pitch looked stunning so all kinds of cred to the team at Deepdale for making our livingroom carpet look so damn good!
The match was pretty decent with Wolves looking the stronger side in the first half and Preston more in the driving seat in the second. No goals but a team that looks strong and happy made the mood stay intact. After the game we good a word in with our man Lairdy. Great to see him fit and ready for a new season. Good luck in the games to come. Leg`s never been stronger pal!
The post game drinks are a great time to catch up with friends and get to talk to new people. Still not met anyone not welcoming us in a heartwarming fashion. Hope the Leeds supporters can say the same after their stay. Not to sure though, when visiting bring your fucking manners.
Besides Nick attempting to catch a beer glass with his head the first couple of drinks went on without any drama. Minty had a tournament on sunday (which his brave lads went on to win!! Congrats pal!) so Clem was in charge of the party patrol heading for the town center.
When you`re out with good people it doesn`t really matter where you are. A lot can be said about the two first bars we went to, but I will address only two things. First of all you do not need more than two birds on the dance floor to speak constantly as a DJ. And secondly every bar and night club needs a small man dressed in a black suit and hat dancing his ass of at the entry. High five old lad!
I could easily have written bits and parts about girls getting sick on each other and women really being men, karaoke and tits out of bounce but I will not.
It`s been a while Preston and it was great seeing you again. Thanks again our friends for a fantastic stay. Stay safe, we`ll meet again soon.
– Preston til vi dør –
2012/2013, Brentford away
Using an airline that actually gives a damn like Norwegian or SAS the trip over from Oslo went very well and we where all rested and happy when we arrived on friday afternoon. Ossi was in charge of booking hotels and found a gem of an hotell in Sussex rd next to Hyde park. The first room we where given had a triple(!) bed and the bathroom door almost opened due to the fact that there was no space in the entire room not already being filled with bed. This might have been great for a 3 person love couple but the Branch does not swing that way.
After explaining to the hotel manager that we did not want a room meant for horny hobbits he said they where fully booked the entire weekend and that we had to specify our reservation if we had special needs. After it was explained to him that there where no where to choose “Air to breath” as an requirement and that he would have to get us a room in another hotel he gave us the option to upgrade our room to a bigger one. (Remember that the hotel was fully booked. Not so much really.) So with out any more dicking around we paid 40 pounds and got on with it. The room was still crap but a lot bigger.
When in England we use cabs more than we would back home. Partly because it`s a lot cheaper but also because we tend to get along great with cab drivers. Mabye because a lot of them are x-army. Or so they say. This weekend was no exception and we had a great time. This one cabby in particularly, who once reluctantly had beaten up George Best, asked me a question:
– What is the one thing the English and the Norwegians have i common? No one in this cab have gotten that one right yet.
I found the question quite obvious and replied:
– The hatred for the Germans.
The cabby was impressed and stopped the meter.
As always getting to a bar occupied by Preston lads is a proper treat. Familiar faces all around a beer in hand and a pat on the back. At home at last. Good stuff seing the CSC again – quality lads.
Congrats on getting married to Marshy also by the way. For some reason he was no longer in costume at the game. We only got one beer in at the bar before getting on a train west. But some catching up was done and some news was passed on.
Getting from the bar to the train station is when the buzz gets going. Good times waiting for the train singing songs about Blackpool scum and our own greatness.
On the train the walls screamed for Trev`s artwork and we where happy to oblige. We have to thank Mr. T again for making the stickers you now can see all over London. His art is on more walls than Banksy.
Some fans may claim to be gentry but the Prestonians truly are their bowlers and ties worthy. When overtaking a train or subway with songs and ruckus ordinary people getting off or on gets treated with the utmost respect and courtesy.
As a great man once said – Football ruins a perfect day out. And he was right. Once again. The game was not played the way it`s supposed to and the way we have played it the last couple of games. The passing game was of and not many passes up front found a striker. Not sure how many shots we had on goal in the first half but in the second I can`t remember one between the posts.
The penalty put a shit end to a shit game. But what the pitch lacked the terraces made up for. 818 Preston faithful made the experience great with non stop singing through out the game. And when the final whistle blew the singing continued and gave the lads a great start on their way back home to Lancashire. Did they deserve it? Doesn`t matter really… saturday was about the Gentry. For 90 minutes we owned Griffin Park and our colors hang proud from the old terrace walls.
So until next time lads – take care and keep the Preston train going. We are back on the right track. Proud to be a part of the hordes this weekend. To all the people we got to talk to – it was great meeting you. To the ones we didn`t get the chance to talk to we`ll have a chat next time we come over.
Hail Proud Preston!
2012/2013, Leyton Orient away
Last time we where over it was sunny and about 25 degrees. This time around it was a bit different. Rain and just about 6 degrees. Last time we won, this time we lost. Last time we were two coming over, this time we were four. The one thing that was exactly the same was the warm welcome from our Preston comrades.
After work friday we all met up at Oslo Central Station and got a taxi to Rygge Airport – the start of all Branch trips to England. Normally we get into friendly arguments with Premiership team`s fans but this time we where pretty much alone. Nico had his priorities straight and made sure we had enough whiskey to last the whole trip. One way at least.
Getting to London is not much different than going to Preston in our case. Fly time is pretty much the same and what do you know, the taxi time also pretty similar to. Our hotel was ok except some dodgy stains on the carpet, underwear in the staircase and just to many french people. You do understand English, you just don`t want to, twats. Merde!
First night out was spent at Burger King several local pubs around Hyde Park. Max being 27 years old was asked for ID at some point. Nothing wrong with looking young though but when you are older than the bartender you don`t tip him much after that do you? After some more or less eventful stays at soulless pubs we ended up at one where we had 4-5 IPAs thanks to Nico. That pub was a bit more alive. Glass broke and stickers was handed out to walls and other places.
But we were not in London to hang out at random bars by our selves. We were in London to hang with our Preston family. And after showing Ben the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street and the Stone Island flagship store we met up at the Water Poet. And what a meet up it was. When people ask me – Why Preston? The short response to that is – Because it feels so f*cking good! The atmosphere in a Preston faithful get-together is just brilliant. We are proud to call us a part of it all.
Once again happy birthday to Tim. 30 years on the 10th season. Get it this time pal?:-)
After the quality time spent at the Water Poet we moved on to Leyton by tube. The sky kept pissing on us as we made our way to Brisbane Road. The place was buzzing and the expectations were high and we all agreed that we could not loose this one. The boys were going to avenge Scott Laird`s broken leg. Weren`t they?
Kicking off our team looked good and the home team brought nothing until they on a rare visit up the field scored a lucky goal just before halftime. With disbelief we went to half time one goal behind. To be honest the effort was good but the skill both on and of the ball is just not good enough.
The stadium stewards was keeping a close eye on the crowd from Lancashire. I looked like they felt the crowd could go mental at any time and we could feel their hearts pound all the way from the grass to the terraces. The relieved smiles on their faces when they realized we just wanted to put our flag out and not rushing onto the pitch were very cute. At half time they tried to pull of a stunt by blocking one of the entrances. It did not work out the way they planned. Anyways..
The second half was as result less on our behalf as the first. We had the ball and the will they scored the goal. We had some great chances to not just get a deserved draw but also to win it. After the match we had to admit our first defeat. We are truly sorry and hope to get back on the winning track as soon as possible. This was not the result we wanted for our 7th game.
Scott Laird is no longer an unsung hero. With Paul and Tom as lead singers a group of thirsty North Enders entertained the Londoners with a great version of Mr. Harrison`s “My sweet lord”. We hope you appreciate the gesture Scotty and that you are back as soon as possible. Keep on getting better. After the the last beer was necked around Euston we went to a party in a part of London I don`t recall unfortunally. Newcastle supporter Rich was a great host and your variety of girls was interesting.
Thank you so much for a great weekend lads. Looking forward to making the trip over again. Looks like the next game wil be Brentford away, so London – we`ll meet again.
If you want to see more pictures from Leyton away and other stuff follow @norwegianbranch on Instagram. Probably gonna put out more fotos on the blog later as well.
2012/2013, Bury away
Going to England to watch Preston is a big fucking thing for us. And if you know anything about Preston fans you would know why. A great bunch of supporters who embrace you like their own. They recognize passion and commitment when they see it.
Getting to Preston is always a little adventure on its own. The old tram, buss, plane, taxi ride never gets worn out. After the friday tacos with gather our stuff and head for the airport. At the airport we normally get into friendly arguments with other Norwegian supporters, normally Liverpool or Manchester United. But sometimes even Leeds, Bolton and Blackburn. This tme around there was no Premier League games so we drank our beers in peace while playing cards.
Arriving in Manchester around midnight the trains have stopped running so the best way to reach the heart of Lancashire is by taxi. We bargin a bit on the price before getting in. It`s not supposed to cost 130 pounds to travel less than an hour in a cab. The taxi driver drove breakneck to Preston so we got to the hotel around 01:00.
Before getting on the train Paul swung by the hotel and picked us up and took us to breakfast with Clem and Bamber. A nice English breakfast. Or breakfast as they say over there. Getting on the train we got to see some new and old faces. Good to see Kearnsey, Ted and Tim again. Everyone in a great mood as the sun makes it`s appearance.
Getting to Manchester we all went to the Old Wellington and put up fort there waiting for the rest of the Prestonian army to arrive. And appart from a couple of hen dos we dominated the old pub.
To entertain the masses 3 groups of Morris men put on a medieval show for us. Armed with sticks and swords dressed in flowers and bells they fought each other leaving no man behind and no eye dry. It`s hard to say how far the 7 pounds the Branch donated will last but hopefully some spare bells will be bought.
The weather this saturday was brilliant specially at this point. Later it would turn Gigg lane in to an oven. The beer cooled us down an set the mood. We also got to know that it`s possible for a grown man to to enjoy a pint or two of strawberry cider. The flag was put up and Prestonians kept on coming in. It`s a great feeling to have a drink amongst friends in the sun watching your teams colors hanging high.
To get to Gigg lane we took the good old tram. Getting into the stadium was a great experience. Just under 3000 North End fans was standing in two stands making the home fans hear their presents. The stands where packed and we ended up below pitch level. Yes, below. About 3 feet something that made it even more necessary to stand up.
To get a good match review you should go to bbc.com or pnefc.net. The heat was on from the start at least in the stands. And when the first goal of the day came it became even hotter. The game was all in all pretty sloppy in our opinion. The passing game was a bit off and a lot of balls being lost both ways.
That did not get in the way of the second goal celebration. The crowd went mental on the second goal and we all felt a bit more secure. No thanks to the Greater Manchester Police and their tactical riot squad. Trying to pick a fight with everyone they made a poor impression. We stand as long as your in the fucking way, twat.
When Bury kicked back a goal it got more exciting than we appreciated. The goal came just into overtime and made the 5 min overtime feel like an hour and a half. Finally the ref blew his whistle and we had it in the bag. Three very important points and the road to a great night out was wide open.
The atmosphere at Gigg lane was very good and the close to 3000 North End fans made their way back to Manchester to hydrate. After about to hours we where all desperate to neck a couple of cold ones. Along with Paul, Phil, Jonny, Susie, Sam, Dickie, Henri, Gas And Jonsey we went to Bar 21 to cool down.
After a pint or two at Bar 21 we started on our way home to Preston and the parade. A nice ending to the very well executed 2012 Preston Guild. It was close to impossible to make it back to the hotell with about 100,000 people out in the streets. After a quick shower we went back out on the town and watched the parade before going to the Roper Hall. A very nice surprise was the welcome gift from Trevor – custom made t-shirts and stickers. Thank you mate – a very nice gesture we really appreciate.
It was a great ending to a great day. And the choice of curry restaurant did not spoil a day for the history books.
“I hope your meal was nice..?”
“You know it wasn`t mate.. It was pretty shit.”
Sunday was spent with Paul and Katie in Sherwood for a sunday lunch before driving to Manchester to do a bit of shopping before going back.
A special thanks to Paul and Phil for everything. And to the rest of you lot for making us feel at home and always having our backs. The Guild pins are worn proud Sam. Thank you all for a great weekend. And happy birthday again to Foggy.
Long live Preston and it`s brilliant Prestonians!!
2011/2012, Huddersfield at home
It was time to come back. Back to proud Preston. The pride of Lancashire. After a long time appart two members of the Branch got on the tram, the bus, the plane and in a taxi to once again see North End go to war.
Everything was like it used to be. Get home from work. Get the necessities together. Passports and tickets. Neck a couple of beers befor getting on the crowded Ryan Air flight and grab a cab. Find the Holliday In and go to sleep.
But one thing was going to be different this time around. 10:00 A tweet just in – “Ready for a drink boys?”
Sunny Preston 12:30, a coffee and a sandwich down and off to The Old Black Bull to meet up with the CSC – Civil Service Crew. Present was Paul, Phil, Andrew, Tim, Graham, Tom and Lee. What to expect from the hardcore Preston faithfull?! Would the 19th century vikings be taken kidly to? A couple of beers later and it was pretty clear – the Branch and the CSC is a spot on match. 3-4 more beers down and into a cab. Off to Deepdale!
Allthough the Branch was undefeated at Deepdale nothing looked up before the face off. Huddersfield was gunning for promotion and we where still strugeling to score, or to even create chances to score.
The Huddersfield fans had the entire Shankley Kop to themselves but didn`t put up the wast numbers Preston did at their visit to Yorkshire. A group of Hudds felt like focusing on the far right part of the Invincible stand, where the Branch was located. But like the match on the pitch it did not go well.
Football should be watched standing up, so that you went through all the trouble with old Bill is appreciated, but lads get you flag strightened out. Good luck in the play offs. And if it doesn`t work out – see you next year! Look for the blue cross and the red helmet.
Preston won the game 1-0 after a goal scored by Roberts 10 min into the 2nd half. The Branch went apeshit with John & John when celebrating the goal. Euforic! To be back and still undefeated. Damn good! Also had a nice chat with Mrs. M and her family during half time.
After the game we headed towards The Unicorn – a great pub with friendly people who took us in as their own. Here we got our first ever tast of sas, a pink drink that makes you feel like a five year old at his own birthday party. Here we met Ted, former red now Preston season ticket holder. The flag was hung up next to the pool table and the good times kept on rolling.
After a couple of pints at The Unicorn we turned are heads towards town and continued the pub run around central Preston, meeting up with Matthew, Mark and Mr. Deepdale. Last mentioned has watched Preston play at 110 different grounds. Respect. At some poor excuse of a bar Ben, the youngest member of the Branch, altough over 18 was denied beer which led to a 10 man strong exit. No questions asked, the CSC stands behind their mates.
Last memorable event of the night took place when Ben again got denied at some bar because his id card of choice was a Norwegian bank card and not his passport. After being told to go somewhere else Paul got the main gatekeepers attention and he put it all straight: “If you have made this big of an effort to forge a bank card you are more than welcome at this etablishment!”. You gotta luv Preston.
After the night coming to an end we retired back to the Holiday In with a footlong sub and smiles on our faces. We used to keep to ourselves when visiting Preston, keeping our heads low and staying out of trouble. If possible we will keep out of trouble but we`ll always be drinking with the CSC when coming to town. Great lads giving you the benefit of the doubt and giving you time to show you metal. Looking forward to seeing you all again. Thanks to Paul, Phil, Andrew, Tim, Graham, Tom, Lee, Matthew, Mark and Mr. Deepdale for a great weekend! A special thanks to Paul for having faith in the vikings. And John – we`ll have a beer next time around.
2010/2011, Ipswich at home
An great trip with a comfortable 1-0 at Deepdale – Hume in the 50th minut. Don´t remember why notthing was written about this trip. We stood on the Shankley kop and had enough to drink at The Old Vic later that evening. More than that the story doesn´t say. Appart from “Benny the bouncer” and “The Blazer” being born that night.
2009/2010, QPR at home
On the 27th of march the sun was shining and people was pretty sure about Darren Ferguson being the right man for the job (..little did we know back then). After being crushed 4-0 away we wanted revenge. It never came. We where up 2-0 after Jones and Davidson had scored but lost the lead just 10 minuts later. Along with about 12.000 others we saw Mellor miss a shure thing in the late minuts of the game.
The game ended 2-2 and the about 12.000 home fans went home as disapointed as you should be after watching your team giving away a two goal lead. To quote the drunk old chap that stopped us on our way out:
“What the fuck was that, lads?!”. And he was right. The rest of the evening was spent at The Old Vic. What could go wrong?
2009/2010, Blackpool at home
Both team`s supporters and the Old Bill was out in great numbers. It was Blackpool at home.
The biggest game of the season in my opinon. You have to beat your main rival, for bragging rights and other obvious reasons. It doesn`t matter whether you`re at the top or at the bottom of the table. It`s the two games where the players have no choice but to play with their hearts outside their shirts. Yellow cards are supposed to fly out the refs pocket and the goals are supposed to be hammering into the backside of the opponent`s goal.
The only thing flying last year was B`pool supporters of the Shankly Kop. The Old Bill had their hands full with the tangerine unemployed.
Both teams where too afraid to lose and the outcome was therefore pretty damn poor. A goalless draw was not what The Branch was hoping for – but still great to be back at Deepdale.
2009/2010, Crystal Palace at home
After the good old tram, buss, train, airplane and train ride to Preston it`s allways great to get the first couple of beers in. A quite night out with a generouse amout of beef and beer the Branch men sleeps well at their hotell of choice, the Preston int. Game day starts off as usual getting up at 12:00 walking down to Starbucks getting some cup`o Joes in and just wander around town looking for trainers and such.
We all appreciate a bit of sun don`t we and it`s not much that beats the walk to Deepdale when the sun shines on your face and the hangover leaves your head. Getting to the stadium an hour or so before the game is preferable. Good times just standing outside in the sun feeling the buzz and watching the happy faces of the kids running about.
The Crystal Palace game was not all that and appart from a guy sitting next to us slagging of Parkin untill he left the field it was pretty uneventfull. But as always, fantastic to be at Deepdale. Wallace scored for us and Ambrose for the Eagles. I think I remember that we should have had a penalty, but what`s new.. The Branch men was as most times overdressed, and I don`t mean that in a posh way just that we constantly are bringing with us down jackets when the Prestonians are still rocking tee shirts. 31th of october is pretty damn cold over here. Later though down was good stuff. Don`t remember that much of that night, but I recon it was pretty sweet. Good times in Preston!