Preston North End and Bamber Bridge stars roll back the years for a great cause

Charity was the big winner when Preston North End legends faced Bamber Bridge Vets at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium on Sunday.

By Dave Seddon
Monday, 2nd May 2022, 1:42 pm

The game was played to raise money for St Catherine’s Hospice and a crowd of around 1,000 was there to see the stars of yesteryear pull on the boots again.

Ricardo Fuller and David Nugent were two of the star attractions, with them teaming-up in PNE’s attack, while Paul Gallagher pulled the strings in midfield and still looked like he could do a job in the Championship,

Stephen Elliott (2), Ross Wallace (2), John Welsh, Gallagher and Fuller were on the scoresheet for the legends, with Tom Ince, Chris Singleton and Mitch Walmsley finding the net for Brig.

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This was a second game played by the teams, following on from last July’s meeting which was held to raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease, a condition suffered by George Melling who played for a number of clubs including Brig, Lancaster, Longridge, Colne and Kendal.

George sadly passed away in April, aged 37, and a minute’s applause was held in his memory before kick-off.

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His family were there to present the trophy named in George’s honour to PNE skipper Gallagher.

David Nugent has a shot for Preston North End legends against Bamber Bridge Vets at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium. Pic: Ruth Hornby

Former Republic of Ireland international Elliott fired North End in front, with Wallace doubling the lead.

Ince halved the deficit with the best goal of the game, sending an overhead kick beyond the grasp of goalkeeper Jack Cudworth,

In the run-up to half-time, Gallagher, Fuller and Welsh were on target – midfielder Welsh sweeping home a fine curling finish from the edge of the box.

Elliott made it 6-1 after the break before centre-half Singleton rose to head home from a corner to pull one back for the Vets.

Ricardo Fuller tries to hold off Stephen Green during Preston North End legends' game against Bamber Bridge Vets. Pic: Ruth Hornby

A second goal of the contest for Wallace made it 7-2 before Newsham lobbed Cudworth to net the home side’s third goal.

For North End, Chris Humphrey had the energy to go up and down the right-wing all game, with Youl Mawene starring at the back next to 1995/96 title-winning skipper Ian Bryson.

Brig Vets: Barton, Nay, Clegg, Singleton, Banks, Lawlor, Bolton, Reid, Carey, Green, Ince. Subs: Eastwood, Richards, Newsham, Marlow, Crowe, McKenzie.

PNE legends: Cudworth, Nicholson, Mawene, Bryson, Welsh, Humphrey, Gallagher, Wallace, Elliott, Fuller, Nugent. Subs: Hill, Atkinson, Cartwright.