Lucky Preston North End didn’t lose, really

Football Hooliganism Old School as reported by the Daily Express on 29th January 1909, 101 years ago.

The Preston North End team, which played a drawn game with Sheffield Wednesday at Owlerton on Saturday were violently treated at the conclusion of the match by a crowd of spectators who were dissatisfied with the result.

Councillor Houghton, who was in charge of the Preston team gave an Express representative the following account of what took place:

“We delayed our departure from Owlerton on account of the hostile attitude of the crowd which gathered around the dressing-tents.

“Immediately we left in a char-a-abanc we were pelted with showers of clinkers, cinders and stones from crowds of excited people who congregated in the streets.

“Nearly every player was struck. Lyon was hit behind the head with a heavy stone, and sustained a heavy scalp wound. Among the missiles which struck the players were two large clinkers, raw potatoes, a lump of billiard chalk, a jagged piece of earthenware, a penny, and a pearly-handled penknife.

“The outside passengers of every tramcar we passed deliberately leaned over and spat in our face.”

If that’s how Preston’s Edwardian fans reacted to a draw, what did they do when the team lost? Luckily, the team that faced Chelsea yesterday got more gentle treatment from the fans.

This is the second in a series of Sunday history posts under the category “The way we were”.

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4 Comments

  • Tony Greaves 24th Jan '10 - 2:10pm

    You’ve got it wrong. The thugs were Wednesday fans (the word clinkers probably gives it away) . Owlerton stadium was (and is) in a part of Sheffield called HIllsborough.

    Tony Greaves

  • Joe Donnelly 24th Jan '10 - 6:02pm

    Well we were playing Chelsea! Winning was always unlikely…

  • Perhaps they were members of the EDL’s predecessors, trying to stop Irishmen & Jews destroying the country?

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