Preston North End football stars get involved in festive commemorations

Preston North End's Thorsten Stuckmann

Preston North End's Thorsten Stuckmann

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A special carol service is taking place at Preston North End’s Deepdale ground to commemorate the 100th anniversary of peace breaking out in the trenches during the First World War.

On Christmas Day 1914, there was no fighting, enemies ventured out across No Man’s Land, exchanged gifts, played football and sang Silent Night together.

In Remembrance of that occasion, Preston North End has joined up with Sports Chaplaincy UK, Hope Together, Greater Love and Silent Night Carols, to host a service inside the Alan Kelly stand from 7pm on Monday, December 8.

As part of the service, Preston’s German goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann will be speaking the words of Silent Night in German.

Rev Chris Nelson, PNE club chaplain, said: “It’s very poignant that we have a German footballer at Preston North End who can really speak in German, and I’m really glad he can take part.”

Former choirister of the year, Louisa Stirland from Preston will also be singing a carol in German, and there will be prayers, performances from Brindle Band, and readings.

Preston midfielder Lee Holmes will be speaking about his life as Christian footballer, and renowned speaker Roy Crowne, executive director of Hope Together is also set to appear at the event.

Rev Nelson added: “There are lots of people in the local community who are giving their time and talents to this event. It will be a fantastic opportunity to celebrate Christmas together with regular supporters and members of the local community in unique surroundings.”

The initiative is national, and other services of the same nature will be taking place at the same time across the country.

But it is the first time that a carol service has been held at Deepdale, and Rev Nelson hopes that it is something that could be continued in the future.

He said: “This is not just one church, but the Christian Church coming together nationally to enable us to celebrate.

“The message from what happened at that time is still important now, and that conflict still has an impact on today.

“This links with the Christmas story- the birth of a child that had such an impact then and continues to do so now.”

The event is free to attend and is expected to last for around an hour.