Preston North End legend backs Boot The Virus charity auction

Preston North End legend Graham Alexander has helped a football charity volley through the £50,000 mark raised.

Wednesday, 20th May 2020, 12:38 pm
Graham Alexander after scoring for Preston North End with his last kick in professional football

Boot The Virus is raising money for NHS charities by inviting players to donate a pair of signed boots which are then auctioned off.

Clubs throughout the country have got behind the campaign which has been set up by lifelong North End fan Kenny Marland and his partner Joanne Dalton.

Kenny, who lives in Halifax, is currently undergoing treatment for cancer and wanted to thank the NHS.

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Graham Alexander after scoring a penalty in PNE's play-off semi-final shoot-out against Birmingham in May 2001

Former PNE right-back Alexander threw his support behind the charity this week in a special way.

Alexander donated the boots worn during his final game as a player when he scored with a last-minute free-kick against Charlton in April 2012.

Already someone has bid £2,000 for the pair, the largest single bid in the whole auction which has raised £51,000 and counting.

When donating the boots, Alexander – now manager of Salford – said: “My playing days are long behind me but I have a pair of boots from one of the best moments in my career.

They are a special pair of boots, the ones I wore when I scored with my last touch in professional football.

“However special these boots are for me, what the NHS are doing at the moment only highlights what they have been doing all my lifetime.

“Me and my family have relied on the NHS, from when I was a child through to the birth of my children.

“If there is a way of saying thank you, hopefully this is it.”

The Boot The Virus auction opened last month and runs until Monday – auction deadlines for each division and category are staggered through the afternoon and evening.

There are 415 pairs of signed boots up for grabs from players at a number of clubs.

A leaderboard shows that bids for boots of Leeds players stand at £8,170, with the sporting memorabilia and international category in second place with £4,574.

In third place are bids for North End players’ boots, with a total of £4,435.

PNE midfielder duo Ben Pearson and Paul Gallagher have both seen bids of £500 for their boots.

The highest bid after the £2,000 for Alexander’s boots is an £870 offer for a pair donated by Leeds midfielder Mateusz Klich.