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Preston North End opens multi-faith prayer room for fans

Posted on - 24th October, 2021 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Deepdale, People, Preston News, Preston North End, Proud Preston, Sport
Mayor of Preston Javed Iqbal and Mo Patel. Pic: Ian Robinson

Preston North End has opened a multi-faith prayer room to allow supporters to pray on home match days.

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The prayer room, opened by PNE Community and Education Trust, is situated between blocks E and F on the Invincibles Pavilion and was unveiled ahead of Saturday’s fixture against Derby County.

The Mayor of Preston, Javed Iqbal, was present for the unveiling as part of the club’s Kick It Out matchday activities to promote equality for fans, players and staff.

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Supporters in attendance on a home matchday, whose ticket is not for the Invincibles Pavilion, will access the prayer room by contacting their nearest steward. They will escort supporters to the prayer room every 15 minutes.

The prayer room will be open from 90 minutes before kick-off, when the concourses open, until full-time, allowing those who need to pray at certain times of the day to leave their seat during the game if necessary.

Mo Patel, a practising Muslim supporter who volunteered on PNECET’s Ramadan initiative earlier in the year, and has since progressed to the role of casual Community Engagement Coordinator with the Trust, praised the initiative.

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Mo said: “Some supporters may have had to make a decision between choosing to pray and attending a match during certain parts of the season. This is due to the different times that their religion determines they need to pray.

“We believe that supporters of all faiths should not have to make that decision. We want to continue to break down all barriers that may prevent our existing fans from attending matches at Deepdale while also encouraging members of our local community to show their support for PNE.

“The opening of the prayer room is another step in our continued work with ethnically diverse members of our community. We will continue to strive to make positive changes to make Deepdale the most welcoming and inclusive place it possibly can be for all fans.”

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Mayor of Preston, Javed Iqbal, added: “It’s an absolute pleasure and delight to open this multi-faith prayer room.

“I hope people will use it and that it will help to bring more and more people to North End.”

As part of the Kick It Out matchday on Saturday, the club welcomed Preston United Youth Development programme participants and their parents to watch the game against Derby County and participate in a half-time penalty shoot-out.

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Speaking about attending the game, a member of the parents’ group said: “It was an exhilarating experience. I really enjoyed it.

“I was really apprehensive at first, but honestly, I had a brilliant time. I was conscious about my headscarf, but it wasn’t noticed, and I’m definitely coming again.”

For more information about the prayer room, email community@pne.com

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