We start 2018 by hosting our visitors from Teesside to Deepdale, marking the New Year with a home game for the 18th time.
Middlesbrough were the second club from the north east town to play league games here when they first travelled to Lancashire in 1902. Prior to that, the exotically named Middlesbrough Ironopolis played here twice in 1892 and 1893.
Honours with Boro are fairly even, with 19 wins for North End and 13 for our visitors, with 11 draws to date.
In fact, we haven’t beaten Boro here since 1972, losing three and drawing twice in the interim although there have only been five league games.
Goals have been equally evenly distributed, 67 North End goals balanced by 54 for Middlesbrough. Three games have featured seven goals and we have come out on top in all three; 6-1 in 1948 (including a Bobby Beattie hat-trick) and 4-3 victories in both 1962 and 1964. Boro’s record victory was by 5-0 in 1935.
Nobby Stiles made the move back to Lancashire in 1973 when he joined North End from Boro. After exactly 50 appearances and one goal, Nobby went on to later manage North End and took us to promotion in 1978.
Mick Baxter, Haryr Mattinson, Hugh McIlmoyle and most recently Sean St. Ledger, Adam Reach and Alex Baptiste have also graced both clubs’ shirts over the years.
On This Date
Overall, we have played 47 league games on the first day of the year, but we did not host a league game here until 1921 and we only played at home once in the first 20 occasions games were scheduled for New Year’s Day.
In fact, we did not play our second game until 1949 – 61 years after the Football League began.
Middlesbrough make their first visit on this date and are the 16th club to do so; only Burnley and Derby County have played here twice on the opening day of the year.
In 1894, we went down 6-3 at Sunderland, whilst our record victory on this date is 5-0 at home to Cardiff City in 1996.
Mike Farrelly celebrates his 55th birthday today, having been born in Manchester in 1962. Mike was a mainstay of the side in the early years of the 1980s before returning to Altrincham, from whom we had signed him in 1981.
Alan Lamb and Gary Williams made their North End debuts in a 2-1 defeat at Charlton today in 1972, whilst Mark Rankine and Callum Davidson made their last North End appearances on New Year’s Day in 2003 and 2011 respectively.
Last Five Games At Deepdale
Preston North End 0 Middlesbrough 0, 9th August 2015
Preston North End 1 (King) Middlesbrough 3 (Ledesma, Zemmama, Smallwood), 25th September 2012
Preston North End 1 (Jones) Middlesbroigh 3 (Lita, 2; Wheater), 28th December 2010
Preston North End 2 (Parry, Jones) Middlesbrough 2 (O’Neil, Johnson), 24th October 2009
Preston North End 0 Middlesbrough 2 (Yakubu, 2), 19th February 2006