Lifelong Preston North End supporter Eric Taylor has seen plenty in his time supporting the Lilywhites, but was still left lost for words when he was visited by three of the current first team squad – Andre Green, Billy Bodin and Tom Bayliss – where he resides at Brookside Care Home.
Eric has been a PNE fan stretching back beyond the days of the great Sir Tom Finney – the devoted supporter’s favourite ever player to grace the turf at Deepdale.
Unfortunately, Eric is no longer able to attend matches at the Lilywhites’ home stadium because of his declining health, but that hasn’t stopped him following the progress of Alex Neil’s side.
His sister Vera, who joined him at Brookside for one afternoon earlier this month, pays regular visits and as a North End fan herself, she takes great pleasure in updating her brother on all the latest PNE news.
That afternoon saw an unsuspecting Eric joined by another three visitors in the shape of Green, Bodin and Bayliss, after receiving a nomination for the Whites Christmas campaign from Louise Newton, a member of staff at Brookside Care Home, which is based in Bamber Bridge.
The North End trio presented Eric with a special Christmas hamper, kindly provided by the club’s catering partner, Heathcote&Co.
Forward Bodin spoke of the importance of players coming to visit supporters who remain dedicated to all things PNE, but like Eric, are unable to attend matches.
“It’s great to come out and see people like Eric,” said Bodin. “He’s been a massive PNE fan for a lot of years.”
“He can’t’ get to games anymore, but it’s always nice for us to come and visit places like this. It’s massive for us to come and see fans and to support local businesses and people who have a massive impact on our team.”
Eric joked that he’s not been supporting PNE for too long – it’s 77 years since he first attended a game, according to his sister Vera’s calculations!
Our thanks again go to Heathcote&Co for providing the surprise Whites Christmas hamper gift for Eric!