The 46-year-old tenor returned to Deepdale, where he sang a number of times earlier in his career, to raise awareness of the Katy Holmes Trust.
During half-time of the match against Bristol City, Russell sang a powerful rendition of Someone To Remember Me and dedicated it to 10-year-old Katy Holmes of Penwortham, who died of an inoperable brain tumour last January.
Russell, who has battled two brain tumours himself, is a patron of the trust, which was launched by Katy’s parents Paula and David to fund research into paediatric brain tumours.
He will be appearing at Preston Guild Hall this Friday to perform a special charity gig A Concert For Katy with all funds going to the cause.
Russell rushed to Preston after performing the national anthems before kick-off at the Rugby League World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand at Old Trafford.
Russell was joined on the pitch by Paula and David.Paula spoke to tell the 8,803- strong crowd about the charity launched in honour of Katy.
Paula said: “Someone To Remember Me is a gorgeous song and when Russell sang it at Preston North End, Dave and I were overcome with emotion.
“It was both heartwarming and heartbreaking and the lyrics are beautiful.
“We cannot thank Russell and Preston North End enough for helping to highlight the charity.
“Russell says he holds us close to his heart and we very much hold him in our hearts.
“We want to thank everyone who has supported the charity so far and hope they carry on doing so.”
• There are still a few tickets left for An Evening With Russell Watson: A Concert For Katy this Friday.
All funds will go directly to the Katy Holmes Trust.
For tickets, visit www.prestonguildhall.com