A Preston fan’s Premiership pipe dream:

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Only recently my girlfriend (nay, fiancé!) of nearly five years muttered the words to me “Clark, you’re a bit one-dimensional. You need to be more diverse.” What constituted her making this statement was the fact that her partner’s life is made up of the following things: football, FIFA 12, Sky Sports News and Preston North End Football Club.

I had no response to such a statement other than to, rather pathetically, attempt to say “I will try to be more diverse!” Part of my riposte was true; I mean, I will try to be more diverse with my choice of away games which I attend, I’ll try to stop using the wings all the time in FIFA and maybe (just maybe!) I’ll attempt at watching Sky Sports News without taking in every last bit of detail that is displayed on the Breaking News Bar. Ah, the Breaking News Bar – sport’s finest invention since the second-phase-of-play offside rule (by the way, does anyway still actually get it?!).

Contrary to what I’m saying, I hold down a customer service job which involves me occasionally working my hands (ears and mouth to be more specific) to the bone on the odd Saturday, which consequently means I will miss an afternoon’s kickabout at The Home of Football…Deepdale, by the way. And you know what; it doesn’t bother me too much. I can handle missing the odd League One game of hoof-football. To be honest, there’s only so much Lee Hughes one hardy soul can handle.

Anyway, I digress. Whilst I can handle missing the odd Saturday game without the proverbial toys being thrown out the pram, the fire of football still burns proudly inside me and I would give nothing more than…erm, my mortgage, fiancé, Xbox 360 complete with FIFA 12 and all my friends…to see Preston North End grace the Premier League just for nine months of my ‘one-dimensional’ life. It would be something else.

This dream has, in recent years, been made all the more distant by simple virtue of the fact our two nearest rivals – Burnley and Blackpool – have achieved just that before us.

(Footnote: Yes, thank you to my good friend John Train for texting me on that balmy afternoon in May 2009 while I was in New York City atop the Rockefeller Centre having the time of my life, informing me that Sheffield Utd had in fact beaten Burnley to get promoted. Thanks for making me believe that!)

I will trawl the length of breadth of this beautiful land and pay whatever price it costs (£23 for Orient away!) to watch my team, no matter what the outcome.

And why do I do this, I hear you ask? Because I’m an absolute mug and I’m pretty sure I’ll be watching League One football for the rest of my days.

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