Preston North End’s FA Cup clash against Manchester United has re-fuelled one man’s quest to return a rare treasure trove of North End memorabilia to his long lost family.
Alex Forbes, nephew of former PNE player William Forbes, had a sense of deja vu after seeing the Lilywhites flash across his TV screen in Glasgow.
The 58-year-old and his sister had just re-unearthed a hoard of memorabilia related to FA Cup finalist Willie’s playing days.
Willie played alongside PNE legend Sir Tom Finney in North End’s 3-2 FA Cup final defeat to West Bromwich Albion in 1954.
But the Scot died aged 76 in 1999 before Alex could return the hoard of memorabilia and when the Scot’s team mate Sir Tom passed away last year Alex tried - and failed - to find his uncle’s three children.
He said: “The Manchester United game brought it all back.
We tried to find them last year after Sir Tom Finney died. I saw it on TV and as Sir Tom played with my uncle it reminded me of all the stuff we had stored.
“We tried to find them last year after Sir Tom Finney died. I saw it on TV and as Sir Tom played with my uncle it reminded me of all the stuff we had stored.”
Willie passed away six years ago and Alex is determined to hand the collection over to its rightful owners. He said: “The last occasion I saw my uncle was at my own father Thomas’ funeral 30 years ago. I believe he has two sons and a daughter
“I just want to pass on our family history to them so they can show their families. I think my Grandparent’s started the collection. We have a large box full of paper cuttings, photos of him from his playing days. There is a picture of him with the Queen Mother at the FA Cup final in there.”
If you know any of Willie’s family email: email@example.com