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Club News

Preston Hospital Radio Celebrates 65th Anniversary

8 January 2018

Preston Hospital Radio celebrates 65 years of delivering full match coverage of home fixtures to hospitalised PNE fans this year.

The volunteer commentators give up their free time and travel to provide the service for fans who are in hospital during home games.

The high quality of commentary has been recognised by the BBC, who have utilised the talents of Phil Gittins and Anthony Wareing, to provide match coverage up and down the country.

They impressed so much that advice and coaching was given by legendary broadcaster John Motson.

Ian Gornall, the organiser, told The One and Only that the original team of volunteers provided commentaries from a treacherous position three quarters of the way up the Pavilion Stand/Spion Kop floodlight.

“The commentary team were brave and very articulate because it was very dangerous back then,” Gornall said.

“We moved to the Pavilion Stand and subsequently to our current position with the national media at the back of the Sir Tom Finney Stand.”

Malcom Rae, the senior commentator, joined the team over 35 years ago and recalls the panoramic view at the back of the stand enabled the commentators to bring excitement to listeners on matchday.

He said: 

“It was a great view to bring excitement to fans who couldn’t attend games but were eager to follow the team’s progress.”

Rae recalls seeing former Manchester United and Real Madrid star David Beckham score directly from a corner, and dancing in ecstasy when a brace from Kurt Nogan put North End two up against Arsenal in the FA Cup.

“We were up on the tables dancing and celebrating, it was really special.”

However, the celebrations were cut short as the ‘Gunners’ scored four in reply to knock David Moyes’ side out of the competition.

Rae also added that he’s thankful for the opportunity to provide commentary for fans on matchday.

“We are forever grateful to PNE for allowing us to provide match coverage of games for those fans who are hospitalised.”

The commentary team, in conjunction with PNE, are extending their service to supporters, by inviting get well messages to be delivered live to patients. Messages should be sent by email to prestonhospitalradio@hotmail.com.


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