Lancashire nostalgia in 1980: PNE plea, trolley troubles and Lennon 'double'

Preston North End chairman Alan Jones
Preston North End chairman Alan Jones

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1980:

Save our soccer plea by Preston North End

Soccer-strugglers Preston North End have issued a survival plan to save the game.

Club directors say that in any other business, a company in North End’s position would be considering liquidation.

Their SOS appeal for the smaller “town clubs” came in a board statement at the club’s Annual shareholders’ meeting at the Trafalger Hotel, Samlesbury.

They have put forward six proposals, which they want implemented in the New Year, and appealed for help from other League clubs and MPs.

The statement was prepared by the directors after consideration of their problems in recent weeks.

Attendance for League games at Deepdale this season have slumped to an average of 6,079 - the lowest ever figure.

And the club is now making an operating loss of over £3,000 a week - though even that is healthier than many other League clubs.

Chairman Alan Jones said: “League soccer is no longer at the crossroads.

“It is accelerating weekly along the slippery slope of self-inflicted destruction.

“Survival is now accepted as the name of the game.”

READ MORE: Look back at a selection of pictures from 1980 here

Runaway trolleys put ‘behind bars’

Trolley trouble has broken out in Preston, leading to the town’s own “hostage crisis”.

Sixty-five supermarket trolleys spent Christmas penned up in Preston Council’s Argyll Road “jail” after a sweep by council officers.

The wheeled wire baskets were picked up from the streets near the Asda superstore on the Callon estate - where, according to residents, the trolleys cause dangerous obstructions.

Council officials hit the trail and began the round-up of trolleys.

They were whisked away to the council’s Argyll Road depot, where they are now being held hostage.

“We have told Asda they can have them back if they cover our costs in collecting them - roughly £1 a trolley,” said Mr John Bennett, Preston Borough engineer.

I’m no ghoul claims John Lennon lookalike actor Neil

The John Lennon lookalike in a Beatles stage act denied his group were “cashing in” on the star’s tragic death.

The Bootleg Beatles - who played John, Paul, George and Ringo in the West End music “Beatlemania” - are due in the North West for three concerts in January.

Amid renewed worldwide interest in the music of the “Fab Four” since Lennon’s murder, the group are certain to play to packed houses.

But the man who plays John - actor and musician Neil Harrison - told the “Post”: “We haven’t just crawled out of the woodwork to cash in on all this.

“We have had a very successful year and the concerts in the North West were planned before John died.”

The band, who play purely Beatles music, will be seen at Morecambe’s Floral Hall on the 15th, Blackpool’s Showboat on the 17th and in the Beatles’ own city of Liverpool.

Neil, the only northerner in the group, admitted: “We honestly feel very awkward about it all.

“As far as I am concerned it feels very strange playing John now that he is dead. I feel everyone is looking at me now whereas before I was just one of the four.

“When we went on stage for the first time after it happened we thought we would get a completely different audience reaction. But it was weird really, we couldn’t sense any particular difference.”