Touching tributes will be paid to the Lancashire football coach Michael Jones before Preston North End’s match against Carlisle on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old, from Tarleton, near Preston, was stabbed to death in New York on Sunday, October 7, in what is believed to have been a case of mistaken identity.
More than a hundred mourners at Mr Jones’ funeral last Friday at Holy Trinity Church, Tarleton, heard how he coached the Lilywhites’ disability team before moving to the US to work for the Major League Soccer side the New York Red Bulls.
And at Deepdale tomorrow this will be recognised with a series of gestures including special programme notes, a fans’ banner and a big screen message.
Family friend Karen Walton, from Tarleton, said: “PNE are putting his photograph up on the big screen and Michael’s father Perry has written a small piece for the programme.
“We have had a banner made, which has been kindly donated by Granthams, of Preston.
“This will be held up in the Sir Tom Finney Stand, Block B at the start of the match and hopefully we can get the fans to do a minutes clap on six minutes, as a small tribute, number six being Michael’s squad number.”
The Red Bulls paid tribute to the former Tarleton Academy pupil with a minute’s applause before their final home game of the season, when players including former Arsenal star Thierry Henry wore black armbands and Mr Jones’ number six on their shorts.
Team-mates from Tarleton Corinthians, Mr Jones’s former club, held a minute’s silence for him before their match against Baxters FC, while Hesketh Bank AFC played in Tarleton’s kit.
A Preston North End spokesman said: “We were saddened to hear of the terrible untimely death of Michael Jones.
“We were delighted, when asked, to be able to pay tribute to him via a message on our big screen at the FA Cup fixture against Yeovil and with a piece in Tuesday night’s programme.
“It is extremely sad to learn of anyone who has their life cut short like Michael, especially when he had such a verve for life and in particular for football.
“The club would like to add its condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.”