Preston North End will mark its commitment to current and former military personnel by signing the Armed Forces Covenant ahead of facing Blackburn Rovers later this month.
The Armed Forces Covenant is the nation’s pledge to those who serve in the armed forces, or have done so previously, along with their dependents, to be treated with fairness and respect in their community.
It focuses on providing members of the Forces community with the same access to public services as any other citizen, such as education and healthcare.
The covenant will be signed approximately 20 minutes before the Blackburn game kicks off, with officials from the club and officers from the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment standing by for an official signing and presentation.
As well as signing the covenant, PNE Community and Education Trust will be marking its relationship with armed forces groups with a number of other themed activities on the day of Blackburn’s visit to Deepdale.
Members of the Duke of Lancaster regiment, medical regiment and participants from the Trust's PNE Forces programme will form a guard of honour to welcome both teams onto the pitch. The match ball will then be presented to the matchday referee by a member of the Armed Forces from the Duke of Lancaster Regiment.
As part of its commitment to the covenant, the club will be offering discounted match tickets for military personnel wishing to attend the game.
Past and present members of the forces will be able to pay concession prices for this fixture upon showing a valid military ID card when purchasing their ticket from the Sir Tom Finney ticket office at Deepdale.
The club’s community department runs its own PNE Forces programme, which is open to anyone who currently or has previously served in the armed forces.
Every Wednesday, a social session is held from 10am until 12pm in the Wing’s Centre on Fishergate in Preston Town Centre, providing a social setting where like-minded people can meet and bond over breakfast, as well as having support services made available to them, for £2.50 a head.
Also on a Wednesday is the Forces football hour, which is free of charge and held from 8pm until 9pm at the club’s community training centre at PlayFootball, Ingol.
Other armed forces-themed activities are being planned for the day of the Blackburn game and will be confirmed in due course.