We make only our second visit to the Pirelli Stadium on Saturday, 11 months after our first visit saw us come away with a 1-0 win thanks to Tom Clarke’s goal.
That is it as far as our history with Albion goes, but not with the town of Burton on Trent.
Just over a century ago, we played Burton United three times during their brief league career. Looking back to those games in 1902 and twice in 1903, our record of two draws and a defeat to United shows that last season’s victory was our first in Burton in over 100 years of trying!
Burton United were themselves an amalgamation of two previous league clubs in the town, Swifts and Wanderers. So despite being one of the smallest towns to ever have a club in the Football League, Burton have the distinction of being the only provincial town to have four distinct league clubs.
Several former North Enders were born in Burton, most recent examples being Lee Holmes, Craig Davies and slightly earlier Mark Sale.
Our goalkeeper in the first post-Second World War season, Jack Fairbrother, was also born in the town. Craig Davies is one of select band of loan players to score a hat-trick for the Lilywhites, his treble coming against Carlisle in April 2014.
Players with both clubs are more numerous than might be expected, with Alex Baptiste, Stuart Beavon, Lee Williamson, John Mousinho and even Jordan Pickford having spent time with the Brewers and at Deepdale during their career.
Shane Cansdell-Sherriff was one of three North Enders to move to Staffordshire from North End when he joined Beavon and Mousinho in the old boys group at Albion.
On This Date
Some notable results from this date in our history include a 5-0 thrashing of Hull City in 1933, an even better 6-1 trouncing of Doncaster Rovers in 1950 and our 5-0 FA Cup replay win over neighbours Chorley was on this date in 1986.
Less welcome but just as memorable was our 2-0 defeat at Hillheads Park, Whitley Bay before the BBC cameras on 9th December in 1989.
The only post-war first team player celebrating his birthday this Saturday is Jermaine Beckford, who needs no further introduction. Happy 34th birthday Jermaine.
Four notable names made their North End debuts on this date over the years, with Mike Flynn coming on as a sub in that game at Whitley Bay. Seven years later, Sean Gregan made his first appearance in an AWS game at Chesterfield in the same match as Paul McKenna made his debut.
Much earlier than all these, Bill Shankly turned out for the first time in a North End shirt in 1933 in the 5-0 win at Hull mentioned earlier.
Last Game At The Pirelli Stadium
Burton Albion 0 Preston North End 1 (Clarke), 2nd Jan 2017