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Preston North End v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Preston North End v Wolverhampton Wanderers

Preston North End v Wolverhampton Wanderers 1904

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Preston North End v Wolverhampton Wanderers 1904

4 mins United Kingdom

Preston were football's first 'Invincibles', but the start of the 20th century saw them yo-yo between the first and second divisions. The striking contrast between the covered stand and the spectators precariously balanced on fences round the other sides of the ground reveal a sport in a process of rapid transition, becoming increasingly professionalised and more of a business.

This film was initially identified as the 2-2 draw played on 19 November 1904, but the stand seen here is nowhere to be seen in footage shot for Mitchell and Kenyon at Preston's home game against Notts County just a month earlier, on 15 October. Since it's unlikely that such a structure could be built so quickly, this is probably the 3-2 Preston win on 28 October 1905. The two teams didn't play again until 1912. Wolves fans may be wondering why their team seem to playing in an all-black strip, but this is an optical effect of the film stock of the time. The team's kit of the period was predominately black with golden stripes, but the gold has registered much darker than it would on more modern film stock, so the stripes disappear into the background.

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