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Ducks And Chickens On The Menu

2 October 2013

Local poultry producers Johnson and Swarbrick are, this season, bringing back an old tradition involving Preston North End and the Club’s manager.

Situated on the edge of the Ribble Valley, in the picturesque village of Goosnargh, the company is well known across the country for producing high quality fowl.

For the 2013/14 campaign, the renowned poultry producers will present Simon Grayson with a duck, chicken or egg depending on whether the Lilywhites win, draw or lose respectively.

The manager was presented with his first batch of ducks and chickens at the Club's Springfields training ground last week.

The tradition stems from when David Moyes was manager of Preston North End and Reg Johnson, joint-owner of the business, is delighted to have renewed the partnership with the Club.

“It’s probably the best contract any manager has ever had because it’s Goosnargh duck and Goosnargh chickens and we send them all over the country,” he told The One And Only.

“It was something we did years and years ago, I think we started with David Moyes – just before he went and then Billy Davies.

“It was just a duck for a win, a chicken for a draw and an egg cup and a dozen eggs if we get beat.

“The egg cups signifying the first bit of silverware you’ve got and a duck egg each for the lads, that’s self explanatory.”

The Club has recently put a large emphasis on community work, with players making appearances at local schools in the ‘Full House’ project and surprising supporters following the start of the ‘Special Moments’ campaign.

And Reg thinks it is great to see North End making such a positive contribution, saying: “There’s a great feel around the Club, it had had dips and drops in the past but just a tremendous spirit around the Club now.

“The players going out into schools, that used to happen, and still does – that really has a big influence.

“If you get younger kids at five or six, they’re your crowd.”

Under Grayson this season, the Lilywhites have won five and drawn four in League One, meaning the manager already has a large stash of ducks and chickens.

And, according to the 43-year-old, the prospect of adding to his collection will give him extra motivation this season.

“First and foremost, I really appreciate the sponsorship from Reg, it’s a fantastic idea to come up with,” he said.

“There’s an incentive and motivation for me to get to the players, regardless of the three points and trying to get into the Play-Offs on a weekly basis.

“There’s the nice little motivation of getting chickens and ducks come the end of it.

“I’m sure I won’t be able to eat all these chickens and ducks come the end of the season and I might just hand one or two round to the players.

“It’s a great initiative and a great idea.”

Meanwhile, the gaffer was also full of praise for Preston’s recent work in the local community and hopes the renewed partnership with Johnson and Swarbrick can herald success for both parties.

“Well it is and Goosnargh chickens and ducks are well renowned throughout the country, they’re high quality,” he continued,

“So it’s great that there’s an initiative between the Club and a local company to do it and hopefully we can prove as successful as Reg has with his company.

“We can both grow in stature over the next few years.”

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