FI­NAL THIRD

Pre­ston are grap­pling to go up – and took time out to go wrestling

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Joshua Richards

IT’S not of­ten half the Pre­ston North End squad would ac­cept an in­vi­ta­tion from one of their fans to join them at work for the night – but not ev­ery club is sup­ported by a WWE su­per­star.

Nine of Pre­ston’s play­ers, in­clud­ing Kevin Davies and Paul Gal­lagher, were Lan­cashire-born Bad News Bar­rett’s spe­cial guests at the Manch­ester Evening News Arena on Sun­day night and joined him for his en­trance walk to the ring ahead of a six­man tag team match.

Self­ies

The 6ft 7in star, weigh­ing in at 17and-a-half stone, gave the North End nine ac­cess-al­lar­eas passes, which they put to good use by gain­ing as many self­ies as pos­si­ble with the su­per­stars.

And de­fender Calum Woods said their evening re­mains the talk of the Deep­dale dress­ing room.

“There was no sit­ting on our hands or keep­ing quiet, we got re­ally into it,” said the 28-year-old, left. “Wade Bar­rett is a big Pre­ston fan. He’s been over to our train­ing ground be­fore and he said the next time he was over here he would get some tick­ets for us.

“Quite a few of the lads are into it in a big way, me in­cluded, so we jumped at the chance to go. I went with my lit­tle boy Harry, he’s four, and John Cena is his favourite.

“We ended up com­ing out with Wade, but got booed! He’s a WWE bad guy, but you won’t meet a nicer one out of the ring.

“We had a great time.We got to go back­stage as well and meet a few of the wrestlers. It was a great evening.”

Ei­ther side of their up close and per­sonal en­counter with sport’s en­ter­tain­ment’s finest, Pre­ston drew with now-pro­moted Bris­tol City and Gilling­ham.

Threat

With just one au­to­matic pro­mo­tion spot left to go for, Woods be­lieves a triple threat match with MK Dons and Swin­don is set to en­sue.

Swin­don are the fi­nal vis­i­tors to Deep­dale this sea­son, pro­vided they do not have a play-off semi-fi­nal to host, in the penul­ti­mate game of the cam­paign and Fri­day night’s throw-away draw at Port Vale didn’t help North End’s chances.

And Woods ad­mits it would be heart­break­ing now to re­lin­quish sec­ond place hav­ing sat pretty in that spot since March 2.

“We have just got to kick on and hope­fully get over the line,” added the for­mer Hud­der­s­field star. “We don’t want to chuck it away now. It’s be­tween three of us and hope­fully we will have the edge.”

RING­LEADERS: Kevin Davies back­stage with WWE di­vas, left, and fan Wade Bar­rett

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