Preston North End steward targeted by theives just days after his birthday gifted new bike by Senior Soccer

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This football family banded together to buy this theft victim a new bike!

A Preston North End steward who had his bike stolen just days after his birthday was gifted with a brand-new bike by his local veterans football league.

Marc Gray is a lifelong Preston North End fan who works as a steward at Deepdale and also plays regularly at a local football league, relying on his trusty bike to travel to both.

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Senior Soccer is a Preston-based veterans football league for over 35s which started in 2021 with the aim of getting people active again following the pandemic.

The league has gone from only having nine players on the first night, unable to have a game, to now having six leagues put on across two venues in Penwortham and Bamber Bridge.

March being gifted his new bike by players at Senior Soccer.March being gifted his new bike by players at Senior Soccer.
March being gifted his new bike by players at Senior Soccer. | submit

Jenny, who runs Senior Soccer with her husband Paul, said: “Marc has been there since day one, supporting the growth of Senior Soccer from the beginning and he’s there every week, even if he’s only brought on for the last ten minutes of a game!

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“He is a really nice, humble guy who just loves football and the fact we were able to get the money together so quickly shows how well-thought of he is.

Two weeks ago, Marc celebrated his birthday and had been given a new bike to help with his work commute yet this gift was stolen just two days later in the Deepdale area after he had gone into a shop.

Marc (left) has been at Senior Soccer since the league started back in 2021.Marc (left) has been at Senior Soccer since the league started back in 2021.
Marc (left) has been at Senior Soccer since the league started back in 2021. | Senior Soccer

The bike had later been seen with a woman riding it but a witness was unable to make out her face and, despite police being contacted, the authorities have been unable to trace it.

Jenny said: “A few days after the incident, me and Paul got thinking and thought we could pool together some money to help Marc out.

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“At a session later on in the week, one of the lads came up to us and had the exact same idea so I set up a group chat to raise some funds and within two hours we had £315!

With the money, Jenny went to Evans Cycles in Preston to buy a new bike, a good quality lock, some bike accessories and even had enough money to get the bike insured.

In the next session, at the Senior Soccer Bamber Bridge league, Marc was presented with his new bike and he was over the moon.

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Jenny said: “Thank you to everyone who contributed, your generosity is just incredible and it really shows how much we care for each other in our football family.

“We hope you enjoy your new bike, Marc!”

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