The National Football Museum, Preston

The word 'museum' often gives the connotation of silence, dinosaurs or generally a boring day out. The National Football Museum in Preston is very different.

It is situated at Preston North End's Deepdale stadium and is part of The Bill Shankly Kop. It caters for all types of football fans far and wide and begins when football was born.

Among the variety of memorabilia from days gone by, including the Jules Rimet trophy and the oldest international shirt in the world, there is narration of the history of football plus plenty of stories, pictures and objects from cigarette cards to World Cup crossbars.

You don't necessarily have to be a football fan to enjoy the museum although it may help. The museum is made up of three main sections. The first level is the main museum where you go on a journey through time with factual information as well as memorabilia like old football boots, fanzines and even Paul Gascoigne's 'Spitting Image' character.

The second level has a 'Special Exhibitions Gallery' as well as a small 'lift size' viewing platform where you can see Preston's pitch and stadium first hand. There is also a penalty shoot-out section that allows you to test your nerve from the spot. It awards points for accuracy and power (providing you score of course) and prints a certificate for you to take home.

The final level is aimed at the younger generation by educating and allowing you to use the interactive gallery including a very good special edition of Match of the Day where you can review the action ala Alan Hansen style.

All areas are accessible by wheelchair and it has lockers and baby changing facilities. There is a cafe where you can eat in or take away and also a souvenir shop.

Favourite part of the museum: The ball from 1966 World Cup Final
Worst part of the museum: The penalty shoot-out area closed for 30mins leaving around twenty people disappointed.

For more information on the National Football Museum tel: 01772 908 442 or visit: