For the second time this season, we welcome visitors from the steel city of Sheffield to Deepdale.
After Wednesday were our opening day guests, today it is the turn of the side from Bramall Lane to head over the Pennines.
Since 1894, the Blades have made exactly 50 previous visits here, coincidentally the same number as their city neighbours.
So far, we have had the upper hand over United, with 23 wins and 11 draws to 16 defeats. There have been 142 goals in this fixture, 87 to North End, but a very creditable 55 to our visitors, all of which suggests there might well be yet more today.
However, there had only been one goalless draw until 2005, but three of the four games since have seen neither side score so it is about time goals featured again in this fixture.
We have scored four goals on three occasions, including our biggest win by 4-0 in 1905 and we have only failed to score in nine games, whilst keeping 17 clean sheets. The highest match aggregate is seven goals, courtesy of our 4-3 win in 1895, and there have been two occasions when six goals were shared; 3-3 in 2004 and a 4-2defeat six years ago.
Numerous players have appeared in the plain white shirt and the red and white stripes, but perhaps the most fondly remembered by both sets of fans are Ian Bryson and Alan Kelly Jnr, who each served both clubs with great distinction and have remained in the Preston area at the end of their careers.
On This Date
One of the few locally members of the Invincibles was born on 16th December in 1863. Fred Dewhurst was a schoolmaster at Preston Catholic College and combined his work there with his role as a kingpin of our pre-Football League side.
A regular provider of goals for his more illustrious colleagues, Fred was no slouch in front of goals himself and was a member of our Double winning side of 1888/89. He only scored one hat-trick, in the 26-0 demolition of Hyde – but he also scored four goals in a match on three occasions. All four of these feats were achieved in the FA Cup prior to the start of the Football League and he also scored 11 goals for England in only nine appearances. Sadly, as with so many of his team-mates, he died very young, aged only 31 in April 1895.
Centre half Tony Singleton played the last of his 333 games for his only league club on this date in 1967. A Preston lad, Tony only scored two goals, both in the FA Cup, but both gave him and the North End fans some wonderful memories.
The first was in the semi-final of 1964, when he hit the winner from more than 30 yards with a thunderous shot through the pouring rain at Villa Park to take second division North End to Wembley rather than our third division opponents Swansea Town. His only other goal came two years later at Old Trafford when he equalised against Manchester United in our Sixth Round replay before two late goals finally put North End out.
Last Five Games At Deepdale
Preston North End 1 (Gallagher) Sheffield United 1 (De Girolamo), 24th January 2015
Preston North End 1 (Little) Sheffield United 1 (Baxter), 30th August 2014
Preston North End 0 Sheffield United 0, 17th March 2014
Preston North End 0 Sheffield United 1 (Kitson), 20th October 2012
Preston North End 2 (Carlisle, Hume) Sheffield United 4 (Phillips, 2; Williamson, 2), 19th October 2011