Cumbria

Flood-hit Carlisle United make Preston trip for 'home' game

A car is partly submerged by flood waters at Carlisle United's Brunton Park in December 2015 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Brunton Park was deluged by flood waters as Storm Desmond caused nearby rivers to overspill

Carlisle United fans have made the journey to Preston as the flood-hit Cumbrian club played its 'home' match 85 miles (135km) away from Brunton Park.

About 600 supporters took up the offer of free coach travel to the League Two game against Notts County at Deepdale.

The club's main sponsor, Virgin Trains, offered free travel for 500 fans.

It was the first of Carlisle's 'home' matches to be switched following Storm Desmond earlier this month.

Close to the rivers Petteril and Eden, the Brunton Park pitch was under several feet of water while damage to club facilities was "extensive".

As the clean up and repair operation continues over the coming weeks, they will play their first match of 2016 against Plymouth Argyle at Blackburn's Ewood Park.

James Phillips, BBC Cumbria sports reporter

"As well as coaches and trains, plenty of fans were going by car along the M6.

"There was a novelty factor for fans about travelling to Deepdale, although some had already experienced a similar thing when Carlisle's ground was flooded in 2005 and the club played its 'home' games at Morecambe.

"It was very good of Preston to offer their ground. However, it was a three-hour round trip for those going by car and with all the events people in the city have had to deal with in the wake of the floods, it was a lot to ask."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The clean up is expected to last several weeks

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