Preston North End and Bamber Bridge show their support for George Melling in his fight against Motor Neurone Disease

Preston North End and Bamber Bridge fans will get the chance to show their support for a great cause at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

By Dave Seddon
Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 12:30 pm

A team of former PNE players will take on Bamber Bridge’s Vets side to raise funds for research into Motor Neurone Disease.

It is a life-limiting condition which well-known non-league footballer George Melling suffers from.

Melling, 37, played as a centre-half for a number of local clubs including Brig, Lancaster City, Kendal Town, Longridge Town, Clitheroe, Nelson, Coppull United, and Altrincham.

George Melling pictured outside Bamber Bridge's ground with friends who did a charity bike ride to raise funds for research into Motor Neurone Disease

He was diagnosed with MND in January this year after first noticing symptoms a few months previously.

PNE’s former players’ side is set to feature Paul Gallagher who as recently as March was playing in the Championship with North End. He has since joined the coaching staff.

Ross Wallace and David Eyres are other confirmed players.

Chris Singleton, who with Simon Woodward jointly manages Brig’s Vets’ team and plays for them, told the Lancashire Post: “I’m a big Preston fan and we’d always wanted to play against a team from PNE.

George Melling models the kit which Bamber Bridge Vets will wear against PNE former players on Sunday

“With what has happened to George, we thought that it would be great to play this game for him and raise money for a great charity.

“We spoke with Neil Crowe at Bamber Bridge about it and he has played a big part.

“Most of the players in our changing room have come across George. If you have played non-league or amateur football in this area, you will know George Melling. He’s played for a lot of clubs around here and the shirt we will be wearing for the game is a striped one with the colours of the clubs he has played for.

“All our team have bought a shirt to play in to help with fund raising.

“We are delighted that PNE have got involved. Hannah Broadley and Ben Rhodes at the club put us in contact with Graeme Atkinson and it has grown from there.

“Getting Gally playing is superb, he’s giving up his Sunday to help the charity.

“A few people commented about it being some kind of farewell game for Gally but it’s not that. This is for George and Gally is supporting that.”

Kick-off on Sunday is 1pm, with admission being by donation – £5 for adults is suggested, with children free.

The bar will be open and an ice cream van will be on site. The gates open at midday.

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