Home sweet home
A look at the respective histories of two grounds that have staged Football League competition throughout its 125-year history - Deepdale and Turf Moor.
Last Updated: 01/08/13 1:03pm
The Football League celebrates 125 years since its foundation this year and while, unsurprisingly, much has changed in that time, there have been at least two constants.
Preston's Deepdale Stadium and Burnley's home, Turf Moor, have hosted Football League matches from its inception in 1888 right through to the present day. The two clubs were founder members and whilst they will be competing in League One and the Championship respectively this season, Preston and Burnley were giants of English football in its early years - with opposition sides fearing trips to Lancashire in the League's formative years.
The grounds have played host to many memorable moments during the past century and a quarter, as the North West rivals enjoyed success up and down the divisions with the likes of Tom Finney, Bill Shankly and Jimmy McIlroy calling one or other of the famous old grounds home during their careers.
Deepdale has been Preston North End's home since 1875 and hosted its first Football League fixture 13 years later as the Lilywhites thrashed rivals Burnley 5-2 on 8th September 1888.
Prior to that, Deepdale had played host to many local fixtures as well as a number of rugby matches in the stadium's early days - with the club formed from a cricket club and expanding before a split saw the emergence of North End.
The first season of football at Deepdale ended triumphantly as Preston won the Football League title without losing a game, winning 10 of 11 on home soil. The following season was another one to savour as the club claimed their second title, although they were run much closer this time around as they twice suffered defeat at home.
The 1889/90 league win remains Preston's last, but Deepdale has still witnessed many great Football League moments, as well as notable cup victories, since.
Among the achievements North End have managed in their time at Deepdale was becoming just the third side to be named champions of all four Football League divisions at some time in their history. The feat was honoured with a 2-0 win over Exeter on the final day of the 1995/96 season, at Deepdale.
The stadium has come a long way from the days of a 'dress tent' for the players at the corner of the ground at the turn of twentieth century, although boasting crowds of around 10,000 at the time was impressive.
Deepdale is now very much the modern stadium, with redevelopments having taken place from the mid-1990s on various parts of the ground - with the completion of the new 'Invincibles Pavilion' in 2008 bringing the work to a close for now, leaving an official capacity of 23,404.
The hope for Preston fans remains that they will be able to see top flight football at the historic old stadium for the first time since 1961 in the not too distant future.
Much like their rivals, Burnley moved into their ground long before the Football League was founded - with Turf Moor becoming their home in 1883.
The first season of the Football League saw the Clarets struggle, finishing in 9th, but that was largely down to their poor away form. At Turf Moor, Burnley managed six wins and were defeated just twice.
Burnley's first major trophy came in 1914 as they won the FA Cup, winning home games against the likes of Derby, Sunderland and Sheffield United en route to the final.
A first league title was added in 1921, going 30 matches unbeaten during the season, but they endured a 39-year wait for another trophy before a second championship win came in the 1959/60 campaign. The title was secured with a win away at Manchester City on the last day of the season, but the success was built on an impressive home record of 15 wins and just four defeats in 22 league games.
The following season saw Turf Moor host European football for the first time as Burnley reached the quarter-finals of the European Cup, winning each of their three home matches in the competition. The most memorable was a 3-1 first leg triumph over Hamburg at the last eight stage. Unfortunately for the Clarets, they couldn't defend the lead in Germany and went out 5-4 on aggregate.
In the past 20 years, Turf Moor has been partially redeveloped with two stands rebuilt. Plans for a similar upgrade on the Cricket Field Stand have been put on hold, however, due to the current financial crisis - with the stadium currently able to hold 22, 619 people.
A return to the Premier League for the first time since the 2009/10 season, during which they recorded an unforgettable 1-0 victory over Manchester United at Turf Moor, will now be the aim for Burnley. For now though, one of English football's oldest grounds will continue to play host to Football League competition.
The Sky Sports cameras will be at Turf Moor for Burnley versus Bolton Wanderers on Saturday 3rd August and at Deepdale for Preston's Capital One Cup first round clash with Blackpool on Monday 5th August.