PNE fans to give minute's applause to Penwortham aid worker killed in Ethiopian plane crash

Football fans are to pay an emotional tribute to air crash victim Sam Pegram during Preston’s home game with Birmingham City on Saturday.

Thursday, 14th March 2019, 4:35 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th March 2019, 5:43 pm
Aid worker Sam Pegram died in the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash

The 25-year-old North End fan, who died in Sunday’s Ethiopian Airways disaster, will be remembered with a minute’s applause in the 25th minute of the Championship fixture at Deepdale.

Sam’s photograph will be displayed on the giant screen inside the stadium where he had supported his soccer heroes since childhood.

And his grieving parents and family have accepted an invitation to be in the stand to share the tearful moment with fans.

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“North End have been very supportive,” said Sam’s dad Mark Pegram at home in Penwortham.

“Fans have been asking over social media if they can do something at the match. And this is a wonderful gesture because Sam, like his younger brother Tom, loved PNE.

“The club will be giving us a private room to meet up in and they will be escorting us to our seats in the Sir Tom Finney Stand.

“But we don’t want the focus to be on us. We just want to be there together in Sam’s memory.”

Tributes are still flooding in for the young aid worker who had been travelling to Nairobi with a colleague from the Norwegian Refugee Council when the crash happened.

The two had left their base in Geneva and flown to Addis Ababa where they picked up a connecting flight - the ill-fated Boeing 737 Max 8 which came down within minutes of take-off. All 157 people on board were killed.

The flight’s black boxes have been retrieved and are now being examined in Paris.

Meanwhile many nations around the world have grounded the 737 Max 8 while an investigation continues into whether the crash could be linked to another in October where 189 people died when a Lion Air flight came down off Indonesia.

Sam’s dad Mark added: “It means a lot to us that fans who had never met him were calling for a tribute and we think a minute’s applause is the right way to remember Sam.

“I am so proud of my son Tom who has been liaising with PNE on the family’s behalf and hope that Sam and his late grandfather Jim Moss will be looking down and helping us to victory on Saturday.”