Rare vintage Preston North End shirt is donated to the family of the defender who wore it

A vintage Preston North End shirt has been donated to the family of the footballer who wore it in the 1970s.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 19th May 2022, 6:09 pm

Mick Baxter played 227 times for PNE between 1975 and 1981, with him playing every game but one during the 1977/78 Third Division promotion season.

He returned to Deepdale as football in the community officer but tragically died at the age of 32 in 1989.

During his time as community officer, centre-half Baxter gave a yellow away shirt dating back to his early days in the side to PNE supporter Kevin McGuinness who worked as a photographer at the Lancashire Evening Post.

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Kevin McGuinness presents Mick Baxter's PNE shirt to members of Mick's family at Deepdale. Pic: Ian Robinson/PNEFC

Kevin recently wore it for North End’s 4-1 win over Middlesbrough at Deepdale in which fans were encouraged to wear old shirts as part of the Retro Day theme.

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Pictures of the match shirt, possibly the only one of its kind which exists, did the rounds on social media and led to Ross Baxter – Mick’s son – getting in touch with Kevin about it.

Ross offered to buy it but Kevin felt it was only right he donated the shirt to the family as a memento. It was handed over when they met at Deepdale.

Kevin McGuiness (left) hands over Mick Baxter's Preston North End shirt to Ross Baxter at Deepdale. Pic: Ian Robinson/PNEFC

Kevin, from Penwortham, said: “I think it dates back to when Mick got in the side during Bobby Charlton’s time as Preston manager.

"I’ve seen a photograph of Sir Bobby wearing a home shirt of the same style, so we are maybe looking at the 1974/75 season.

"Mick gave me the shirt while he was working as PNE’s community officer. I worked for the Evening Post as a photographer and was often down at Deepdale taking pictures of community events being held on the plastic pitch.

"On this occasion there had been a five-a-side or a seven-a-side tournament organised by Mick. The LEP had a team involved and I played in it.

"There were a few old Preston shirts being worn and I remember Mick just gave me the yellow shirt.

"That shirt came from an era before replicas were made and sold like they are now.

"A few weeks ago, my brother borrowed the shirt to wear for the Gentry Day game at Barnsley, the people on his coach were all wearing old shirts and he needed it.

"Then I wore it for Retro Day the following week when PNE played Middlesbrough.

"A picture of my brother wearing it in at Barnsley was put on Twitter and it was from there that Ross got in touch.

"Ross offered to buy it but I wasn’t going to make him pay for it, I decided to give him the shirt.

"It’s great that the shirt is with the family of the man who wore it playing for Preston North End.”

Ross Baxter, who lives in Leyland, said: “It means the world to me and my family, and it was really emotional getting it.

"Just having something that a North End had of my dad’s and for him to give it to a random stranger just shows the merit of the man.

"It will be passed down for generations forever so it was a really kind gesture and I can’t thank him enough.”