Greetings, fellow North Enders.
The club has kindly given us the opportunity to tell you about a new celebration of a fine old North End supporters’ tradition - Gentry Day, which this year is the away fixture at Fulham on 4th March.
Gentry Day – excuse us for rehearsing the obvious here - is an annual away day celebration of being a PNE fan.
As well as being a celebration of the simple fun of being a North End fan in the present, Gentry Day is a commemoration of the past, a way of paying respect to fellow fans who have passed away in the preceding year, and earlier years.
The origins of Gentry Day began with a random remark. The fans took notice of a comment from Alan Ball Senior, our great manager from the early 1970s, who complimented us on our away support, terming us 'gentry'. The tradition is now to wear bowler hats (and some wear suits too) on the nominated day.
This year, we thought we’d try to make a lasting record of the celebration of Gentry Day. We approached the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), the Lancashire Evening Post – and now, most importantly, you our fellow fans, to keep a record of your day and send it to us. In conjunction with UCLAN’s school of journalism, we’ll take your material (AV clips from iPhones, text, pictures – everything is welcome) and collate it.
If we get a lot of quality footage, text and photos, we'll create a documentary that explains the day, and chronicles the days of the travelling fans - from Preston and the North, London and the South, Paris, New York and Norway. Both UCLAN and PNE are very supportive of the idea (with participation from the management and playing staff a possibility).
UCLAN and PNE have also said they will put on free screenings of any consequent film. Anyone contributing material will be automatically invited to come along. We’ll also be looking to create an e-book and possibly a physical book as a memento of the day.
So what will you do on Gentry Day 2017? It’s our day, our great football club, our celebration. We want as many of you as possible to join in to give as wide and diverse a picture as possible. If you want to be part of the story, send your content via the social media channel of your choosing (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram…). Just be sure to use this hashtag: #GentryDay.
Here’s to a great day – and, of course, three points at Craven Cottage.
Shaun Fagan and Martin Baker