Hospital doctor James Hedley’s prescription for a good day at the football is a Preston win . . . and a butter pie.
But the vegetarian North End fan’s experience at recent games has sent his blood pressure soaring.
BUTTER PIE RECIPE>>> What ingredients you'll need and how to make it
James claims his favourite pre-match snack has gone up in price, down in size - and he hasn’t even been able to buy one on the Town End at the last two home fixtures.
“It’s astonishing,” he said. “This is traditionally Preston’s most popular pie and, not only are they smaller and pricier than last season, they aren’t stocking enough.
“I got there at 2.45 and they’d sold out. It’s not good enough.They wouldn’t treat corporate customers like this. They clearly don’t grasp the importance of this iconic pie in Preston.”
James, who has a 70-mile round trip to attend games, has been left hungry at the recent fixtures against Wigan and West Brom. He claims a member of the catering staff told him: “You should get here earlier.”
Now the Manchester medic has launched Operation Piegate on behalf of other “disappointed” supporters missing out on the local delicacy.
He has written to both the club and caterers Heathcotes protesting about what he sees as poor service for matchday fans and calling for more stocks of butter pies at the next home game against Brentford next Wednesday.
A PNE official has written back saying the sales of butter pies dipped last season, but the caterers have promised to supply more at future games.
The Lancashire classic was created for the Catholic community to eat on days when they could not consume meat. It has also been called the Catholic pie or the Friday pie.
Made from potato, onion, salt, pepper and a buttery sauce in a pastry case, it is particularly popular in Preston where there used to be a huge Catholic community.
A pie poll carried out in 2012 by the Post saw butter come top. North End stopped selling them between 2007 and 2010, but reinstated the favourite after a public campaign.
The butter pie even appeared in the Paul McCartney song ‘Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey.’