The Preston North End head coach pays tribute to Mr Trevor Hemmings CVO in Saturday's matchday programme.
Good afternoon and welcome back to Deepdale. Whilst today will be a very sad occasion, I hope it will be one where we can all celebrate the life of a great man, Mr Hemmings.
The news, when it came through late on Monday night, was devastating for everyone connected with the club, but first and foremost for all of Mr Hemmings’ family and close friends and I would like to send my condolences and very best wishes to each and every one of them.
Only last Wednesday, I spent a good amount of time with him, at Euxton, discussing the team, the games and hearing him recount some fantastic stories from the past, a time I will now reflect on with great pride and privilege.
I am extremely grateful to Mr Hemmings for the support he has given me and the trust he has put in me to lead his football club and I can guarantee that the staff, players and I will be doing everything possible to ensure he leaves a successful legacy.
As I have already mentioned, he was a great man; someone who you listened carefully to every word he said and learned from every piece of advice he passed on and those opportunities will be missed by all who had the pleasure of being in his company.
One thing that everyone at the club knew was his passion for Preston North End. He was on the phone to Peter and the staff here every single day, without fail, and was heavily involved in every decision.
On deadline day, when he was instrumental in getting the deals for Ali McCann and Josh Murphy done, I saw his energy and enthusiasm for making sure we were always making positive steps forward and it is now the job of us all to do the same.
The applause before the game and everything else in place today to remember Mr Hemmings will be emotional, but the best way we can pay tribute is a positive day on and off the pitch, with your non-stop support and our 100 per cent determination and application on the pitch. Your support is fantastic every single game, but will no doubt, you will give us an added lift from the stands this afternoon.
My final thoughts today are back with Mr Hemmings’ family and friends. At this difficult time we will try to remember him and honour him in the best way possible and please know that he will always be a motivating figure for us as we take this great club forward.
As the club’s promotion for this game quite succinctly puts it, ‘thank you boss’!