Friends arrange golf day for Preston-born footballer struck down by terminal disease

When news of a Preston-born footballer stricken by a terminal illness hit the headlines, three golfing friends decided to act.
Preston-born former footballer Lenny JohnrosePreston-born former footballer Lenny Johnrose
Preston-born former footballer Lenny Johnrose

Paul Wignall, Byron Gregory and Peter Jones, who are members at Ashton and Lea Golf Club, were touched by the openness of Lenny Johnrose about his Motor Neurone Disease (MND) diagnosis.

In a bid to raise awareness of the illness and to raise money for the MND Association, the trio have thrown their efforts into organising a charity golf tournament and dinner next month.

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Paul, 50, said: “I saw it on the news and with the contacts I have, knew I was in a position to be able to help.

“He’s a local lad, a similar age to me, and even though we’ve never met him, we wanted to do something.”

The event, which tees-off at the club in Tudor Avenue, on Wednesday, October 17 at 10am, will see 18 teams compete before a dinner and raffle.

To help, Paul has called in favours from several high-profile footballing friends, who will take part alongside the golfers.

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Last year Byron, 40, helped organise a fundraising event at Fishwick Golf Club for a friend’s father also suffering with MND.

He said: “Lenny’s only the same age as my brother, and friends know him. It really brings it home to you and we wanted to act fast.”

Peter Jones is looking for local businesses to support the event with prizes for the raffle.

Contact him with donations and to reserve a playing place on: [email protected]

About Lenny Johnrose

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Leonard (Lenny) Johnrose was born in Preston on November 29, 1969.

A defensive midfielder, he began his career at Blackburn Rovers as a trainee, and also spent time on loan at Preston North End.

He was signed for £50,000 by Hartlepool United. He would go on to make over 50 appearances for the ‘Pool, scoring 11 goals.

He also played for Bury, Burnley and Swansea.

After retiring in 2004 he went on to teach at Wensley Fold C of E school in Blackburn.

He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in March 2017 and has since spoken openly about his plight.

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