A PNE superfan has seen a rare ‘David Beckham’ shirt he donated help raise £25,000 for charity.
Thirty-three-year-old Simon Gooch began supporting the Lilywhites in the 94-95 season, just as a teenage Beckham made his debut on the hallowed Deepdale pitch.
The Tweet just said that they needed a 94-95 shirt like David Beckham wore, and that there would be a good reward.Simon Gooch
Since then, Simon has built up a collection of every replica North End shirt issued between 1990 and 2000 - during the time he was growing up with the club - so was perfectly placed to respond to an urgent appeal by Sky Sports presenter Geoff Shreeves.
The DWP worker from Andrew Street, Preston, said: “The Tweet just said that they needed a 94-95 shirt like David Beckham wore, and that there would be a good reward.
“I replied saying I had one, and was asked if I’d be willing to part with it.
“I was a bit hesitant, because it’s been 20 years and you can’t get another easily, so I said there had better be a good reason!”
The adult-sized was worn by season-ticket holder as a child, but apart from a few bobbles, was in good condition.
A representative from charity Nordoff Robbins contacted Simon and explained it was wanted it for a special charity auction as part of the 20th Anniversary HMV Football Extravaganza at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
As a thank you, Simon was invited along to the star-studded event, which includes an annual Legend of Football award to a particular player.
Simon added: “David Beckham was honoured this year and as part of it, donated a shirt from every club he’d played for, except for Preston.
“Twenty years ago the club couldn’t give shirts out to a 19 year old who was only there for a month, and of course they’re very rare nowadays.
“So that’s where my shirt came in and was framed with six others, and the lot was signed by Beckham.
“It was great to see it raise £25,000 and go to such a good cause.”
As part of the night, Simon got to rub shoulders with other PNE names such as Sam Allardyce and Phil Brown, and there was a film showing David Beckham visiting users of Nordoff Robbins, a charity which provides music therapy for people with autism and dementia.