North End’s White Christmas campaign is in full flow, and the first of the ‘Shining Star’ visits has taken place.
The ‘Shining Star’ campaign allowed family and friends of the Lilywhites’ faithful to nominate someone who they felt were worthy of a special gift or visit this Christmas.
Ian Moss, from Ribbleton, was the first recipient in a long line of surprises from Preston North End in the lead up to Christmas as Kevin Davies delivered a Christmas hamper to the loyal PNE fan.
Ian was nominated by his sister Sue and nephew Ryan who felt he was more than worthy of some happiness following the passing of his wife Sharon earlier this year. Ian had cared for his wife over the last seven years at their home, and gave up his job in order to be a full time carer for his long suffering wife.
Having battled with Multiple Sclerosis for 14 years, she sadly lost her battle earlier this year at the age of just 46. The only time Ian was away from Sharon throughout her illness was to go to the PNE home games at Deepdale, when a carer would sit with her while Ian enjoyed the game.
It was because of this tragic loss and his love for PNE that his family felt a visit from one of his favourite North End players would bring him a bit of festive cheer.
It certainly had the desired effect as Ian was delighted to see Kevin Davies in his home, who he described as a living legend and told us just how much it meant to him to have him there.
“He’s a living legend, he’s my favourite player, it’s an honour to have him walk in to my house, sit on my settee and I can tell everybody now I've had a living legend come into my house and deliver a present for me for Christmas. It’s very kind.
“Community wise, this football club means everything to the town, absolutely everything, so for this to happen, it’s very special, very very special.”
On his family nominating him, Ian added: “I cannot thank them enough, every one of them has stood by me at this moment in time, when my wife died. To be nominated is an honour and to be chosen is an even bigger honour and I have to say a big thank you to every single one of them.”
Kevin Davies was pleased to have been able to give this reward to a true fan and believes it is important that football club’s get involved in the community, particularly at this time of year.
“All the players enjoy this part of the job, we enjoy coming out to the community, meeting fans, they’re the ones that spur us on, support us home and away.
“So this time of year, it’s always nice to come out and meet some of the fans, obviously it can be a difficult time of the year for some people so it’s just nice to come out and spend a bit of time with them.”
It was a truly enjoyable visit for all, and put a much needed smile upon Ian’s face going into what will inevitably be a hard festive period for the whole family.
Keep a look out on YouTube in the coming days to see the video from the visit and to hear from Ian and his nephew Ryan as well as Kevin Davies.