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Former Players Visit Residential Care Homes

9 November 2018

Former North End players Mark Lawrenson and Alex Bruce rewound the clock back and reminisced with residents from two local care homes in Preston.

The PNE duo played alongside each other during the mid 70s, and the pair reunited for a humbling morning at both Finney House Care Home and Abraham House Care home in Preston. 

Both Bruce and Lawrenson met residents from both care homes who were eager to speak to them about yesteryear with many enjoying fond memories of both putting on the Lilywhite shirt. 

The day rekindled some very happy memories for a lot of residents, something which Activities Coordinator at Finney House Jen Stutter valued for the residents' overall health and well-being. 

“We’ve had people from the Dementia and Nursing unit come down today to meet Alex and Mark with some residents - lifelong fans of the football club which was really nice.

“Events like this brings everybody together and gives them something to talk about throughout the day. We do activities on a day to day basis and it helps stimulate conversation for them to talk to their families about as well and the photos we take – they can go in the scrapbooks and they can look back on the day and remember so it’s very good for them.” 

Bruce became a cult hero throughout the 70s and early 80s for North End with Sir Tom Finney in front of him in the all-time PNE goalscoring charts.

“It’s always nice to visit places like these,” said Bruce. “It’s a great club to play for and I’m sure if you’re a supporter, it’s exactly the same and everybody engages when it’s Preston North End.  

“It’s all part of being a footballer and there’s a lot of footballers who do a lot of good work in the community, sometimes it’s not recognised but they are there and there’s some great players doing some great work. 

“It’s always nice to be remembered - and if they remember you as a half decent player than that’s great.”

The day was equally rewarding for Preston born Lawrenson who was able to look back on an illustrious playing career where he lifted the league title five times and the European Cup in 1984 amongst other accolades during his spell at Liverpool.

Lawrenson is no stranger to the modern game having also enjoyed a career as a television pundit, and he was quick to point out the fantastic community work done by the current crop of players. 

“Footballers get a bit of a hard time sometimes as people just see the money they make and the mistakes that they make but while you’ve had two ex-players in myself and Alex today, loads of current players will do this plenty of times. In a cathartic way you feel as though you’ve given something back which is great. 

“I’m no stranger to these types of places because my mum’s been in one or two. It’s very difficult for these people to fill their day and it’s very difficult for the staff to help them fill their day so when they have something like this, it’s always a bonus.”

Watch the full round up of Alex and Mark's visit to Finney House on iFollow now. 

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