* Prices may differ from that shown
I have that kind of lethargy that you get when you've lived in the same area for a long period of time - 'there's nothing to do', 'I've seen it all' and 'it's all rubbish'. So, it's always a nice surprise when I stumble across something new - especially when that new thing is absolutely FREE to enjoy! This is what happened when I discovered the National Football Museum, located at Preston North End's Deepdale Stadium, in Preston.
So, what is it?
Well, as the name suggests, it is a football museum which contains a collection of all things football, from its invention, right up to the present day.
It's the jewel of the football memorabilia world's crown - described as the 'proud custodian of the official FIFA collection' - and this is shown nowhere better than its heavyweight hierarchy, which has Sir Bobby Charlton as the president and Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Tom Finney and Sir Trevor Brooking as vice-presidents.
How does it work?
Well, appropriately enough, the museum is split into two halves! The first half gives a history of the game through a series of displays. This area is all about the statistics that have shaped the game and you will find lists of the leagues through the years, notable events in the footballing world and various souvenirs, including the original FA Cup.
The second half is a much more interactive area and includes all kinds of games and activities that will delight young and old alike. There is a also a section about the museums hosts - Preston North End - and there is a chance to have a look at the stadium from the viewing platform.
Is it any good?
The answer to this question is undoubtedly a yes! Although I do follow my local team (the - ahem - mighty Blackburn Rovers!), I am not the biggest fan of football, but I don't think you need to be to enjoy this museum - as strange as that sounds.
In the first half, the die-hard fans will no doubt enjoy proving their worth by knowing the main facts already, but the exhibits are presented in a way that doesn't alienate the non-football fans. The information is presented in a time-line and is accompanied by key social events to bring the facts to life. You'll be able to compare what was happening in the football world, during events in time - the wars, changing political leaders and the Spice Girls' first Number One!
The exhibits cover the origins of the sport, women's football, advertising in the game, working conditions and, of course, football superstars.
There are some fun exhibits, too, that will appeal to everyone. My favourites were the Spitting Image dummies of Gazza and Gary Linekar.
Another good thing about the 'First Half' is that children will be kept entertained with the various different ways of presenting the exhibits - there are visual displays as well as little pods that you stand in and an audio presentation can be heard. There are also activities that include dressing up in older kits and so on.
The second half, however is the real draw I would imagine as it is completely interactive and there are some great things to do.
There are a couple of table football tables, but this is table football with a difference - there are massive TV screens behind the tables and your games are recorded and then played back on them!
There's also a great little exhibit that we loved - Gary Linekar's commentary box. You basically go into a recording booth and commentate on a game of football; it's then played back with your picture on the screen. It's great fun for budding football journalists everywhere.
You can also have a look at the comprehensive rule book which is available to look at on a big screen with lots of pointers and descriptions to help digest the information.
So would I recommend it?
Of course I would! it really is great fun. The initial exhibit is well presented and very engaging. The interactive area will provide hours of entertainment for young and old alike.
Even if you don't like football, I guarantee you will still find something here that captures your imagination or that interests you and the kids (even the very big ones!) will love it! Best of all though - it won't cost you a thing to find out how good it is!
There is free parking available outside the museum.
It's open 10am until 5pm on Tuesdays to Saturdays and from 11am until 5pm on Sundays. It closes just before kick-off on match days - although you won't be able to park anywhere near the museum on those days. It's closed on Mondays (except for Bank Holidays).
There is a coffee shop and gift shop that sells every kind of football souvenir you can imagine!
Its fully accessible to wheelchair users.
They welcome big parties and school groups.
The museum-the National Football Museum was originally built here at Deepdale in 2001.It was a long overdue wait for the country which had the world's first football team (Sheffield FC-near where I live!), the first international, the first ground-oh England is the deifnitely the home of football(as the Euro '96 song reminded us).The museum tells the story of football-the worlds most populaur, easiest to play and best game.I myself are a football nut supporting the might of Sheffield United (please don't laugh) so for me a visit to this mouth watering museum was in order.And while on holiday in Lancashire the chance arose and I jumped on the bandwaggon(well Ford Focus) and finally made it...
Where is it?
Preston is located in Lancashire and was recently awarded the honour of City Status . It is easily accesible from most places especially Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Scotland.You see, Preston is along that long M6 which goes from Scotland all the way down to Birmingam. Perfect.The museum is just two miles from Junction 31 of the M6 and was very clearly signposted thankfully.If you wish to come by public transport has a major rail interchange going on all major routes where there is a large taxi rank. The no.19 bus departs from the bus station every 10 minutes.
The reason is because it is home to Preston North End. Okay then maybe not a huge football team any more (they currently play in the Championship.) However back in 1888 in the first ever league Championship in 1888 with 12 teams (which included Northwich Victoria and Accrington Stanley!) Preston easily won it going unbeaten for the whole season (something the Gunners repeated in the 2003-2004 season). There ground is Deepdale holds 21,000 and is impressive on the outside with a large shape with a halo around it on the walls( their logo) while a delightful statue of Tom Finney stands around.There was plenety of parking spaces all of which were free(bar match days when they cost £3 -please check website for matchdays.)After that we entered the modern looking building attached to the ground...The foyer oddly enough has entrance desks although you will not have to empty your pockets-its free! although you can buy an excellent and glossy guidebook.The whole building has an ultra modern feel to it which I do not always like preferring Victorain splendour but here I feel it works starngely.There are two floors to the museum (named rather cleverly The First and Second Half ) and I suggest that we start off with th ground floor.
THE FIRST HALF_This is feel is the more museum area of the museum ( if that makes sense. Many things here are displayed in glass cases but imaginmatively and in a interesting enviroment. The first bit is a bit of a non entity really-an area showing what was happning in the world when famous football events ahppened-a bit dull. The two areas are cleverly separated by a barrier with many pictures . The second area charts objects through time-its very easy to follow and in chronoogical order. In between the glass cases which were well spaced out were information panels and quotes relating to something on display. I found this easy to understand. The main objects to see here I think are-
1. The Painting 'Football' by Thomas Webster 1839- This picture I feel shows wat football is developed from. The picture is of a rugby like game where two teams in hundreds would play acroos a huge pitch (a village) with apigs bladder. Goals were scored but there were no rules-hacking and violence were clear in this fascinating picture!
2. Arnold Kirke Smith England shirt (1872) - This short was actually warn in the very first official international football game between the two 'auld' enemies-England and Scotland. The shirt looks horribly clammy and diffcult to play in compared to the lightweight ones used now. Also here is the cap-yes they really did get caps for caps!
3. First World Cup Ball 1930- The very first world cup was in 1930 and was one by Uruguay who won it once again in 1950. The final took place between Argentina and Uruguay who did not like each other with soldiers guarding players! The game finished 4-2 to Uruguay )with a goal being scired by a chap with one arm!) This ball was the first ever used in a world cup final-although at the start each team wanted to play with a different ball. Agreement came by playing one half with one ball and the second with another!
4. Bertn Trautman's Neck Brace-Bernt Trautman was a goalkeeper for both Manchester City and Germany. However in one game an extraordinary thing happened-while collecting a cross he landed badly- AND BROKE HIS NECK! Amazingly he carried on and survived although if he had made one wrong movement he would be dead
5.Jules Rimet Trophy 1966- For those of you who do not know this basically means the World Cup Trophy held by Bobby Charlton after England won the 1966 World Cup after beating Germany 4-2 after extra time with a hat-trcik by Geoff Hurst. The trophy is differnt to the modern one-it is the Goddess Athens holding a cup? The original is gone-Brazil got to keep it when they won 3 World Cup but it was stolen and melted down. Another funny story is when Bobby Charlton went o collect the trophy his hands were muddy -so he wiped them on the Royal Cloth!
6. Mardona Short- 'Hand of God'- Can we ever forget when in the 1986 World Cup Quarter-final England faced Argentina. And the infamous moment when Maradona jumped up and blatantly punched the ball in the net (which counted!) then scored the greatest goal of all time in the space of 60 seconds? The shirt is here to be jeered at.
7. World Cup 2002 nEngland v Argentina Match Ball- The match ball used in the amazing gane in Group F which ended 1-0 to England thanks to a camly struk David Beckham banishing his demons of 1998 when he was sent off. The design is fascinating.As well as these there are evryday items like programmes, tickets(some of which are so so cheap!), the story of womens's team who became famous (Kierr's Ladies?), George Best;s European Footballer of the Year award-everything a football fanatics, part time supporter or hater of footballer could want.
Also in the First Hall is the Hall of Fame where amny famous footballers , Managers, womens or work in football.
They are:Gordon Banks, George Best, Eric Cantona, Eric Charles, Sir Bobby Charlton, William Dean, Kenny Dalglish, Peter Doherty, Duncan Edwards, Sir Tome Finney, Paul Gasgoice, immy Greaves, Jimmy Haynes, Kevin Keegan, dennis Law, Nat Lofthouse, Dave Makay, Sir Stanley Matthews, Bobby Moore, Bryan Robson, Peter Shilton, Billy Wright, Lilly Parr, Sir Matt Busby, Brian Clough, Sir Alex Ferguson, Bob pasiley, Sir Alf Ramsey, Bill Shankly, Alan Ball, Danny Blanchflower, Pat Jennings, Tommy Lawton, Gary Lineker, Stan Mortesen, Peter Schmeicel, Arthur Wharton, Hope Powell, Herbert Chapman, Stan Cullis, Bill Nicholson, Sir Bobby Robson, Tony Adams, Billy Bremmer, Viv Anderson, Sir Geoff Hurst, Roy Keane, Wilf mannion, Alan Shearer, Sue Lopez, Dario Gradi, Don Revie, John Barnes, Jack Charlton, Ryan Giggs, Colin Bell, Bert Trautmann, Ian Wright, Debbie Bampton, Howard Kendall, Sir Walter Winterbottom, Liam Brady, Alan Hansen, Roger Hunt, Jackie Milburn, Martin Peters, Ian Rush, Giofranco Zola, Gillian Coultard, Ron Greenwood, Arsene Wenger, Peter Beardsley, Denis Bergkamp, Glenn Hoddle, Mark Hughes, Billy Meredith, Graeme Souness, Nobby Stiles, Niall Quinn, Karen and Joan Whalley, Sepp Baltterand Terry Venables.Phew. Time for the second half..
SECOND HALF: Located on the second floor I am pleased to note this has full disabled access with a stairlift and lift which I always feel is good.I think this is the area I was most dissapointed with.Most of this is interative. I love interatcive games and many of these here look absolutely fantastic but when I went none were working which I found bitterly dissapointing. I know they will break down but I feel it is poor that not one is working -and no signs are put up to tell you this meaning we desperatelty tried to work games which were already broken.The main one I was looking forward too was a table football game where goals and higlights are replayed on a larger screen. Unfortunately it was not working but I could still play on it however a barrier so you can't get to the cameras meant viewing was poor.Another I would have liked to have gone and done was a Macth of the Day area where you can actualy join in-broken. The only thing working was slide show of views and aerial photos of stadiums-hardly interative. There were a few displays like referees whsitle and rulesbooks in cases as well as shirts, The design of the room was 'intriguing'.
The Deepdale End is a small alcove which explains all about the clubs history with many interesting items on display relating to the clubs history as well as excellent views of the ground itself.T
here was also Goaslstriker. You are put in a room and dpending on age and height you are put distance from a full size net projcted on wall with a goalkeeper who does move and is tricky to beat, You get 3 shots and you are awarded points for placent (even if you missed) and goals. I only scored once and recieved a certifivate with a measly points total.Prices I think are rip-offs Single ticket £2.95
Adult +1 child (under 12)£4.95
Family (2 adults + 2 kids) £7.95
There is also a temperary exhibtions gallery which we ignored. Cureently (15 March-8 June it is the art of football.Also here is a lovely under 7s play area named Footy Fun Zone with soft ball pits and slides as well as table football and minature footballplus dressing up and drawing activities.
Where to Eat?
Named the Extra Time Coffe Shop the acfe sells a good selection of Fairtarde teas and coffees, cakes, pastries, snacks and sandwiches. prices were average bu the decoration left a lot to be desired.
Like all good museums this one has a shop most of which is overpriced tacky ruvbish-pens, pencils, notebooks, plastic players etc, etc but also some Dvds of famous footballing moments, a huge selection of books, mugs-plenty of souvenirs and not TOO expensive.
The museum has toilet facilities with baby changing and siabled toilets.
The museum has a wide range of educational activities which include Poetry Workshops, Art and Crafts, Handling Sessions,Outreach, Gallery tours, Reminiscence workshop, Lesiure and Tourism and Science and Football.
The museum is hone to these collections:
THE FIFA Collection
The Football Association Collection
The Football League Collection
The Priory Collection
The FIFA World Cup Collection
The Preston North End Fc Collection
The Harry Langton Collection
The Sir Stanley Matthews Collection
The Littlewoods Collection
The People's Collection
Tuseday to Saturday 10am -5pm
The Museum closes at kick off on match days (usually 3pm)
Closed: Christmas Day, New Years Day, easter Sunday and Mondays (bar Bank Holidays and some school holidays.
There is no phone number given?
I enjoyed my day out at the National Football Museum.
I enjoyed the modern, clean and interesting that this exceelelnt collection is in. I was particuarly impressed by First Half-the information was colourfly , interestingly and clearly presented while there was a huge and fascinating collection of items showing the hitory.
The second half however left a lot to be desired-the fatc that many interactive exhibts were not working was very dissapointing in my own opinion but I did enjoy tthe Goalstriker and Deepdale areas.
I should also note the excellent facilities, educational value and overall friendliness here.
So all in all I would say the Nationa Football Museum is an excellent way to spend an aftrnoon ( I would recommend 2 to 3 hours to see everything in deatils) not just for football nutters but for everybody and I feel this is a great museum.
During October half-term my girlfriend and I took a trip to the Football Museum at Preston to meet a friend we hadn’t seen for a while. When we got there, there were plenty of car parking spaces available. This was in the middle of the afternoon on a school holiday. I guess this is because they have to have enough parking there for the matches at Preston – so maybe an idea not to visit the museum on a matchday (although maybe you could use the viewing gallery as a sneaky way to watch the match!). Anyway, parking was free, as was entry to the museum – bonus!
I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. There is a lot to see, right back to the very early days of football and everything is clearly labelled. You follow a path from the early days up to the present, there are wall displays telling you about ‘the olden days’, starting with the first amateur clubs, to the advent of professionalism. It’s not just old programs, shirts and boots – there are videos of famous and important matches, the benches you sit at to have a rest have buttons to press to enable you to listen to stories and people reminiscing and there are interactive displays where you stand in front of a display and listen to the story behind it. Unfortunately when we where there a few of these displays were not working. Still, never mind.
The museum is divided into two sections – the downstairs part I have just described, and a much more ‘hands on’ upstairs section which is much more kids-orientated. I imagine this would be quite refreshing for families as the downstairs section took us about an hour and a half to walk through, and we didn’t look at everything! I’d guess that younger ones might get a bit bored and restless by the end. However, upstairs they’ll have a ball – there’s a big table football set with cameras in the table which replays goals on a screen, a Match of the Day section where you can sit in front of a camera and commentate on some footage which is replayed onto a TV screen for others to watch, as well as several interactive displays with features on grounds, rules and supporters.
The café is situated just as you come out of the end of the first half and sells refreshments for quite reasonable prices. You can grab a sandwich or a meal if you need something to keep you going. There is the obligatory shop at the end, selling anything and everything related to football. A useful place to grab a present that’s a little out of the ordinary for the football fan in your life.
A lovely little place with a nice ambience around it. It wasn’t too busy when we where there which made it easy to go at our own pace and easy to read the information on the wall that we wanted to see. Plenty of ramps for wheelchair access and a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon out. Shame about the traffic on the way home, but you can’t have everything your own way!
Based at the home of Preston North End FC in preston the museum is accessable from the M6 motorway and very easy to locate. The museum is split into two distinct sections. The "First Half" is an exhibtion based on an old style museum exploring the origins of the game, the experience of fans and brings together great football moments with significant events in a broader social history. The first Half Football is placed in it's social context by "The Big Picture", a wall of images that shows what was happening in the wider world from the present day back to the mid 19th century. You can see how the lives of fans and players were effected by war, technology and entertainment. Opposite is "A Fan's Life". This colourful wall depicts the average fans experience of going to watch football through the decades and provides an excellent insight into how fans grow with the sport. At the far end of the gallery is "In The Beginning", which looks at modern football's origins in the ancient ball games that were played by the various civiliations around the globe. As you reach the end at turn back on yourself "The Greatest Game" the museum provides a narrative history of football. Utilising stories, pictures, objects, film and sound to trace the development of football. Opposite is the "Real Thing", a run of cases that house football memorabillia from around the world. Soundbenches are situated around the museum that provide stories from both players and fans of their experiences of football throughout the years. The Second half The second half is a collection of different galleries. The largest of these galleries is "Playing The Game", an interactive gallery based on eight distinct themes within the game: - Toys and games; Rules; Tactics; Players and skills; Equipment; Fans; Media; Grounds; Visitors can learn how the rules of the game have developed, appreciate the tactics employed by some of the great sides and participate in a live edition of Match of the Day. Visions of Football is an art gallery dedicated to the game and displays unique worked that has been inspired by football. Wembly Stadium - Icon of Sport housing the national stadiums collections during the rebuild. The National Football Museum is only really suitable for Half day visits as children will probably get a little bored after Two or three hours. The Museum is fully accessible for wheel chair users as it features ramps, lifts and a disabled toilet. The museum has a cafe and Gift shop but the shop was not very good as its main items were classic football shirts and there weren't many football items that seemed interesting and affordable. Also discount tickets are available for groups and the museum provides a "Football Trail" quiz that keeps the kids entertained for at least an hour in the first half. Overall a good place to visit although it is expensive for the time you will spend there. Adults with an interest in football will love it and learn a lot from the visit.