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Leo Retells Festive Joy As 'Whites Christmas' Returns Next Week

2 December 2016

This Monday sees Preston North End begin its Whites Christmas campaign for 2016 so to mark the occasion, PNE.Com spoke to one fan who was given the surprise of his life in 2014.

From October 1st, PNE fans from across the world have been nominating fellow North Enders who they feel are in need of some festive cheer for the Christmas season.

The response was over-whelming with supporters getting in touch with stories - some inspiring, some heart-breaking, but all with a connection to Preston North End.

Throughout next week, the whole PNE squad will be going out into the community to meet supporters who have been nominated by their loved one's.

One fan in particular who was nominated to receive something special in 2014 was Leo Cliffe, an avid supporter of Preston North End who suffers from a rare heart disorder called Williams Syndrome.

The syndrome has meant that the 16-year-old has grown up enduring life-saving operations and endless trips to the hospital.

Yet Leo has refused to let that get the better of him; he is a proud season ticket holder and can always be seen with a smile on his face.

Two-years ago, it was Leo’s Great Nan who nominated him to receive something special as part of the Whites Christmas campaign, and the club obliged by sending former players Jack King, Andy Little and Neil Kilkenny, who were PNE players at the time as well as current defender Bailey Wright to his house as a special surprise.

“We were sat in the living room and I had no idea what was going on,” recalled Leo.

“All of a sudden the players walked in and it gave me the shock of my life. I was very surprised but it really did make my day.

“The players gave me a Christmas present and spent the afternoon chatting to me. I offered them some sweets and they had a go of my drums.

“They talked to me about the season; at the time my favourite player, Joe Garner was injured but the lads told me all about him and what he was like. I was also practising their accents, especially Bailey’s!

“I have a season ticket in the Invincibles Pavilion; I’m a big Preston fan and I know all of the songs so it was great to have the players actually come to my house for one afternoon.”

The visit from the players that day was a memory that was shared throughout the Cliffe household as mum Vicky recounted when the club website spoke to her recently.

“I was over the moon for him when he was chosen,” she said. “Obviously I knew all about it beforehand so I was really excited for it and the look on his face when they all walked in was priceless.

“I think it is really important that the players go out into the community especially at this time of year. It made Leo so happy and it was fantastic to see the players come to our house.”

Alongside the PNE Community and Education Trust, Preston North End will be hosting its biggest Whites Christmas campaign to date

Make sure you keep up to date with the latest goings on from Monday - on PNE.Com, all of our social media channels and our official YouTube page.

This festive season is certainly going to be a very, merry 'Whites Christmas'.

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