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