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National Football Museum

Located beneath two stands of the oldest, continuously-used League ground in the world, the National Football Museum is aptly housed at Preston North End Football Club's Deepdale Stadium. While the first game at Deepdale was played in 1878, the National Football Museum - the world's first major football museum - is a relative newcomer to the "beautiful game," opening in June 2001, but it houses over 1000 exhibits at time (with a further 25,000 in storage).

The Museum owns major collections such as the FIFA Museum Collection, in addition to having long-term loan of others, such as FA, Football League and Wembley collections. At any one time part of this extensive football memorabilia is on loan across the globe, with recent exhibitions travelling to the 2002 World Cup in Japan as well as to Germany and France.

Deepdale Stadium is steeped in footballing history itself. Within two years of its first game, Preston North End FC was the first winner of the oldest football League in the world (1879), and the club was instrumental in the change of the game from a sport played by gentlemen amateurs, to one played by paid professionals.

In true football fashion the museum is divided into a game of two halves, with the Football Hall of Fame acting as the half-time point. The First Hall - More than a Game - illustrates the history of football, while the Second Half allows visitors interactive opportunities, from playing table football (and watching highlights on video afterwards) and joining in a special edition of TV's Match of the Day.

The Hall of Fame features specific players and managers who have made English football what it is today, with such players as Bobbies Charlton and Moore, George Best, Eric Cantona, Jimmy Greaves, Gary Lineker, Kevin Keegan, Paul Gascoigne and Stanley Matthews. Managers featured include a clutch of knights of the realm: Alf Ramsey, Matt Busby, Alex Ferguson and Bobby Robson, as well as ordinary mortals such as Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley and Brian Clough. Women's football is not forgotten with the Hall of Fame also saluting Lily Parr and Hope Powell.

George Best visiting the National Football Museum in Preston, with his Hall of Fame trophy

National Football Museum Information

When: Daily; not Mon

Where: Preston

Cost: Free

Opening Hours: Tue-Sat 10am-5pm; Midweek matchday 10am-7.30pm; Sun 11am-5pm; closed Mondays apart from Bank Holiday Mondays

Address: Sir Tom Finney Way, Deepdale, Preston, PR1 6RU

Hotels near National Football Museum

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