St John Ambulance stalwart Doug retires from Deepdale duties

Doug Bailey
Doug Bailey
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Doug Bailey is finally hanging up his first aid kit after more than 60 years of volunteering and 25 years as St John Ambulance’s duty manager at Preston North End FC.

Doug has provided first aid cover for supporters at all games at Deepdale for a quarter of a century and has treated hundreds of casualties over the years.

MANY THANKS: Doug Bailey with his wife Mary and their gifts from North End.

MANY THANKS: Doug Bailey with his wife Mary and their gifts from North End.

He has been a volunteer with St John Ambulance since 1952 and these days is also an active member of the Lancashire St John Fellowship, a group of former and current volunteers that supports the charitable activities of the organisation and allows volunteers to keep in touch through meetings, social events and fundraising activities.

In 2010, Doug took part in a heritage project through which St John Ambulance looked back at the history of the organisation from the 1880s to the modern day.

He said: ‘When I moved to Lancashire in the 1960s I was drafted into Haslingden Unit as Divisional Sergeant.

“Shortly after, I joined the police force and my first aid skills were put to use many times in my role as a police officer.

Looking back, there were some hair-raising events but at the time everyone tried to keep people safe and dealt with any injuries that occurred.

Doug Bailey

‘I later transferred to the Preston unit and took on a role as the duty manager at Preston North End’s football ground.

‘I’ve seen many changes over the years and attended hundreds of duties, giving first aid to countless people.

“Over the years I have been drafted in as a first aider at the terrible Toxteth riots in Liverpool in 1981 and also during the miners’ dispute in 1985.

‘Looking back, there were some hair-raising events but at the time everyone tried to keep people safe and dealt with any injuries that occurred.

“First aid skills are as relevant today as ever and I’m proud to be a volunteer for St John Ambulance.’

To mark Doug’s retirement, PNE presented him with a North End shirt signed by the team and a framed certificate of appreciation.

Doug’s wife, Mary, was presented with a bouquet of flowers.

For more information about St John Ambulance and how to volunteer with the charity, visit sja.org.uk or call 0871 423 6030.