PNE boss Grayson pulls on the boots

PNE boss Simon Grayson before last years charity game at Deepdale
PNE boss Simon Grayson before last years charity game at Deepdale
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Preston North End are to hold a community day at Deepdale next month which will feature a celebrity match and the presentation of the player of the year awards.

All proceeds will go to the Prostate Cancer UK charity with fans able to meet the PNE players.

It takes place on Sunday, May 1, the afternoon after North End play at Reading.

The event starts at 1pm with the squad holding a signing session.

Then in the main event, a fans’ team will play a side put together by Preston manager Simon Grayson.

Places in the fans’ team will be bid for by auction.

Grayson has already got a number of players and celebrities lined-up for his team.

They include ex-Preston players Paul McKenna, David Lucas, Graham Alexander and Mark Lawrenson, together with former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan and singer Paul Heaton.

Gary McAllister, Emile Heskey, David Dunn and Peter Beagrie are others set to turn out.

A similar game last year proved a big success, with Grayson leading, and playing, in a side against supporters.

Grayson said: “We have done a lot of fundraising for Prostate Cancer UK over the last year or so.

“I lost a close friend about 18 months to the illness.

“Prostate cancer is becoming more widespread and any money we can raise will go towards research on finding a cure and better treatment.

“The community day on May 1, will be a great occasion, all the players will be down there and we’ll have the charity game.

“The game we had last year was great fun, well attended and it raised a lot of money for charity, which is the main thing.”

For the supporters’ team, there are 14 places up for grabs – 11 guaranteed a starting place with three substitutes.

There will be a rolling subs system in place.

Bidding for places in the team, which starts at £100, can be done on PNE’s official eBay page, starting on Thursday, April 12 and ending on Sunday, April 24

Payment will need to be made by the winner of each position by 8pm on Monday, April 25.

The game will be streamed live on the PNE website with full commentary.

The player of the year presentations will also take place at the community day.

Voting has recently been taking place for player of the year, young player of the year and goal of the season.

Another fundraising event for Prostate Cancer UK saw Grayson and his coaching staff attend a fans’ forum at the Queens pub in Leyland on Monday night.

Organised by the PNE South Ribble Supporters’ Group, it raised £555.

Grayson, Glynn Snodin, Steve Thompson and Alan Kelly answered questions from fans on a wide range of issues.

North End’s assistant sports scientist Luke Hemmings also addressed fans about the charity bike ride to Amsterdam he is doing at the end of the season.

Last year, Grayson did the ride, which is organised by the Football League.

This time, he is letting Hemmings and Preston fitness coach Tom Little get in the saddle.