Supporters will honour Trevor Hemmings at Preston North End’s weekend clash with Derby County
Preston North End’s clash with Derby County this weekend will provide the platform for fans to pay tribute to Lilywhites owner Trevor Hemmings after his sudden death.
Hemmings, 86, passed away on Monday evening and leaves the legacy of PNE being a solid Championship side with no external debt.
For more than 11 years he owned North End after launching his buy-out in June 2010.
Various ideas for a tribute have been suggested by supporters, a popular one seeming to be a ‘cloth cap’ day in honour of the headgear favoured by Hemmings.
Attracting a higher-than-average crowd would be fitting in itself as PNE reach the end of this particular era.
In the longer term, the North End faithful will be keen to know the next step at Deepdale.
But they recognise that the Hemmings family will be grieving and this is not yet the time to discuss in public what comes next.
Hemmings, famous in horse racing circles after winning three Grand Nationals, has left the club in strong shape through regular investment over the years.
Investment was done through share issues, with the amounts becoming more frequent and indeed bigger to meet the costs of surviving during the pandemic.
Between February and April this year, at a time when the turnstiles were locked to fans, shares worth £4m were allotted to North End by Hemmings.
Similar patterns of share issues can be found looking back through the accounts.
The Hemmings family are of course strongly represented in the Deepdale boardroom by Craig Hemmings.
He was appointed as PNE chairman in June 2019, given the official position after representing his father at meetings in previous years.
Hemmings Jnr will provide continuity, as will director Peter Ridsdale who has run the club day-to-day since December 2011, acting as advisor to the owner.
The North End squad, staff and some fans were able to pay their respects to Hemmings before the Lancashire FA Senior Cup tie with Rochdale yesterday.
A minute’s silence was held before kick-off, the players wearing black arm bands.
There will no doubt be similar protocol for Derby’s visit on Saturday.
The Lancashire Cup game was played at Euxton and Hemmings had been due to visit the training ground yesterday. He had re-started his trips over from the Isle of Man after the pandemic had halted them early in 2020.
It is a year since North End moved into Euxton, Hemmings funding the purchase of it from the administrators running Wigan Athletic at the time.
At Deepdale, the flags flew at half mast. Flowers and scarves had been left at the Sir Tom Finney ‘Splash’ statute as a mark of respect to Hemmings.