Nostalgic reunion for former footballers
About 60 former amateur footballers, who plied their trade in the 1960s and 70s, attended a reunion evening, pre-lockdown, at St Anthony’s RC Club Cadley Causeway, Preston
Many of the elite amateur teams were represented, such as Ribble Avenue Methodists, Walmsleys Bakers, Preston West End, St Paul’s, Greenbank Celtic, Provacs, The Piper, St Joseph’s and The Wanderers FC.
Former players and officials of the era included goalie Malcolm Rae OBE; full backs Frank Turley and Jeff Thornton; half backs ‘Hessie’ Singleton, Wilf Riley and Des Mitchell; forwards Tony Monks, John ‘Kegsey’ Kerrigan, Bernard McNaboe, Mick Borwick and ‘Pip’ Donelly; referee: Eamon McNamara; and liners Norman Edmondson and Albert Sharrock.
Ex-Preston North End goalie David Lucas, now goalkeeping coach at football league club Fleetwood Town, spoke of his career, relating his experience of the 10 clubs he played for over the years.
Another invited guest was Eric Jones, 88, who spoke of his cameo appearances for North End during the playing days (1954-60) of Preston North
Legend Sir Tom Finney.
Eric was standing by to replace Sir Tom in the 1954 FA Cup Final but Tom recovered from injury and took his place in the PNE Cup Final team against West Brom.
Attendee Wilf Riley
said: “Both David and Eric kept the audience in stitches with their humorous anecdotes of football days past.
“Another guest on the night was songsmith and Preston’s answer to Tony Bennett, none other than the former Singing Postman Eric Jones.”
The night was a charity fundraiser for Vine House Cancer Care Unit, based at Cromwell House, and Preston Schools Football Association, which provides football matches for Preston children.
The monies raised are expected to reach £1,000 figure, to be divided
between the two beneficiaries.