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Preston North End’s legendary Deepdale Duck mascot retires

Posted on - 8th September, 2023 - 3:38pm | Author - | Posted in - Deepdale, People, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Preston North End, Proud Preston
Simon Nash as the Deepdale Duck
The Deepdale Duck brought entertainment and mischief to Preston’s home games Pic: The Orchard Bar / Facebook

Simon Nash has retired from his role as the legendary Deepdale Duck.

Simon – who works behind the bar at The Orchard Craft Beer Bar in the city – became Preston North End’s mascot 27 years ago.

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Throughout the years, Simon provided entertainment as an ever-present at home games, and was also an important figure in the local community.

Unfortunately, in 2022, Simon became ill and was unable to attend home matches, and he has now taken the decision to retire.

In a post on Facebook, Simon said he’s “had a blast” and had “stories he could tell forever” including the time he “was having a paddle in the fountain at Trafalgar Square and the police arrived.”

Simon added: “The thing I’m most pleased with is the 230 schools I visited, causing complete mayhem in the assemblies.”

Comments on the Facebook post paid tribute to Simon’s contribution to PNE and the community.

One said: “Absolute Legend. The antics when away teams had corners and penalties were a joy. And who can forget the FA Cup when you joined team celebrations on the pitch? Enjoy the retirement Simon, and keep the stories going.”

Another added: “I was one of the girls who you looked after at the girls football sessions on Sundays years ago, you took us round the old stadium and told us stories, really enjoyed those days it meant the world to a young North End fan. Have a very happy retirement.”

In recognition of his time as mascot, Simon and his family have been invited to attend an upcoming home match where Simon will be presented on to the pitch at half-time for fans to show their appreciation.

Following Simon’s decision, North End announced it would be the end of the Deepdale Duck as the club’s mascot.

Speaking about Simon’s retirement, club secretary Ben Rhodes said: “Simon has been an integral part of the club and the local community for almost three decades in this role and we look forward to providing him with a big send off at Deepdale.

“It only seems right that after almost 30 years of the Duck, he makes his final nesting place, before we find another inspirational mascot to bring joy to as many faces going forward as Simon has done in years gone by.

“We would like to thank Simon for his efforts in the role and wish him and his family all the very best in the future.”

The process to establish a brand new mascot is set to involve supporters.

Preston North End Community and Education Trust will work with local schools to give young fans the chance to design the new mascot, while supporter groups will also be involved in discussions.

The best ideas and designs will then be put to the wider fanbase and a final decision will be made.

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