PNE boss’s fanfare

Simon Grayson wants PNE players and fans to celebrate on Sunday
Simon Grayson wants PNE players and fans to celebrate on Sunday
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Simon Grayson wants the Preston North End fans and players to join together to celebrate a strong first season back in the Championship this weekend.

On Sunday afternoon, PNE are staging a community day at Deepdale, the event including the presentation of the player of the year awards.

Lilywhites boss Grayson will lead a charity game between ex-players and supporters.

He believes the event, which is raising funds for Prostate Cancer UK, is an ideal way for this season’s efforts by North End to be recognised.

Grayson said: “It is a great opportunity for supporters to bring their families to Deepdale and enjoy a day out, celebrating what has been a great year for Preston back in the Championship.

“The whole squad will be there and the player of the year awards will be made.

“Our fans have been brilliant supporting the team throughout the season, so it would be great to see lots of fans here on Sunday.

“The main attraction of the day is a charity football match which will see former players and famous faces taking on a team of fans – they will managed by members of our first team.

“We have got some former Preston players taking part, Graham Alexander, Paul McKenna, Sean Gregan, David Lucas and Neil 
Mellor.”

Fans have bid more than £3,000 to play in the supporters team.

Said Grayson: “Through various events last year, we raised around £50,000 for Prostate Cancer UK which was an unbelievable amount.

“We want to add to that tally with this community day.

“Already more than £3,000 has been raised through the auction for places in the fans’ team.”

On Saturday, Grayson takes the North End squad to Reading for their last away game of the season.

The following week, they host his former club Leeds.

Although PNE slipped to 11th place over the weekend, a top-10 finish is achievable.

They can finish as high as eighth with two victories and results elsewhere going their way. I think we deserve to be a top-10 side but that has to be earned on the pitch rather than me talking about it,” said Grayson.

“We’ve had a very good season for a club new to the division and with a budget much less than many others.

“We want to finish strongly with good results against Reading and Leeds.

“It has been a long, hard season but we will be working hard to get two wins.”

Grayson has fitness concerns over Anders Lindegaard, Ben Pearson, Marnick Vermijl and John Welsh for the trip to the Madejski Stadium.