Fan power is increasingly becoming a rarity in football and the successes should always be celebrated. So huge kudos is due to the Preston North End supporters who bandied together this week to ensure 172 metres of branding unintentionally featuring the colours of their rivals Blackpool was removed from Deepdale.  Kudos too to the club’s sponsors 888Sport for listening to the fans in question and acting on their grievance.

The story begins with 888sport naturally wanting to showcase their brand in the stadium of a club they back. No harm there only, well, if you’re aware of the company’s branding you will know that it is tangerine in hue. And Preston don’t do tangerine.

Fans were outraged and called for the immediate removal of the hoardings with 888Sport responding with an unusual challenge – should an online poll reach a thousand the perimeter boards and TV gantry boards would duly be changed to a more neutral colour. The figure was reached within an hour.

True to their word 888sport asked club legend Neil Mellor and current striker Paul Gallagher to lend a hand with the refit ahead of North End’s big televised clash with Blackburn this weekend.

Mellor, who scored 38 goals in 151 appearances for North End, said: “Like the Preston North End fans, I wasn’t too sure about the tangerine around the stadium, and I’m delighted that something is being done about it – so much so that I got stuck in and helped out myself! It’s great to see 888sport listen to the supporters, for a sponsor to be so proactive and take a fans first approach like this is superb.”

The activity is the latest in 888sport’s #FansFirst fan programme, following the brand’s initiative of providing free travel to select midweek games, announced earlier this season.

Neil Mellor helped 888sport remove the final traces of tangerine from Deepdale following a #FansFirst vote. Preston North End are a best price of 8/1 to beat Rovers on Saturday. Bet now at