PNE fan Albert scores helping hand

Preston North End has been busy off the pitch securing a helping hand for a dedicated supporter.

Tuesday, 7th March 2017, 3:07 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:57 am
Preston North End v Queens Park Rangers SkyBet Championship match at Deepdale Albert Halliwell and his helper Melanie Norris

The club recently reached out to its supporters in search of a volunteer matchday carer to assist 75-year-old Albert Halliwell at home games.

Albert is a disabled season ticket holder in the Alan Kelly Town End and has been a fan of the club for 67 years. He has followed the club far and wide until recently when it emerged that he could only attend games with a carer.

Unfortunately, Albert didn’t have any friends or family to attend with him, so North End posted his story on its media outlets in the hope of finding somebody to help.

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The appeal was shared far and wide and the club managed to find the perfect fit for Albert in the form of fellow PNE fan Melanie Norris.

Melanie said: “I saw the advert on Facebook, screenshotted it to my mates and asked them whether they thought I should go for it and they agreed that it was perfect for me,” said Mel who assisted Albert for the first time at the Birmingham City game.

“I’m a District Nurse in Blackpool so that’s probably why I wanted to help Albert so much, his quality of life was at stake so something needed to be done. Because I work in Blackpool, a lot of people I come in contact with are Blackpool fans so I always make sure I have my North End lanyard on.”

Albert said: “I suffered a stroke 20 years- ago so coming to games has always been a struggle, but it’s nice to be able to still go to the games and that’s all thanks to Mel - she’s been very good to me.”

Disability liaison officer Hannah Woodburn said: “Mel’s willingness to go the extra mile for a fellow PNE fan typifies our supporters and what they are all about.”