Supporters and former players of both Preston North End and Blackpool came head to head in a game of golf last weekend in memory of a PNE fan who sadly passed away.
The fans and ex-professionals – including Ian Bryson, Lee Cartwright and Andrew Lonergan – fought it out for the Stephen Fell Shield, named after the lifelong North End supporter who tragically lost his life at the age of 44 in 2021.
Stephen suffered significant injuries in a biking accident in July 2020 and sadly passed away a year later.
In tribute to Stephen, a ‘#DerbyDayGolf’ event was arranged at Shaw Hill Golf Club, Chorley, on Sunday 26th March – the weekend before the latest instalment of the West Lancashire derby at Deepdale.
Bryson, Cartwright, Lonergan, Barry Nicholson and Neil McDonald formed a team of ex-PNE players, taking on a line-up of former Blackpool men – as well as fans of both clubs.
Among the supporters taking part were professional golfers Peter Finch and Andrew Richardson, while Stephen’s father Gordon was on the North End team.
There was also a place for a fan on the PNE team decided by a raffle, with the proceeds to be donated to a charity selected by the former Lilywhites.
Professional golfer Andrew Richardson, former PNE midfielder Barry Nicholson, pro golfer Peter Finch and Blackpool supporter Marc Hardiman
In total, £250 has been raised so far and that amount is expected to double in the coming weeks.
Unfortunately it was Blackpool who came out on top in golfing terms, but it is hoped the event can become an annual event, giving PNE the chance to try and regain the bragging rights next year!
One of the organisers of the event and PNE fan, Martin Salisbury, said: “The event was a fantastic tribute to Stephen, a true North Ender, and it was a day he would have loved to have competed in.
“The atmosphere and camaraderie between the two teams was superb and it was a great way to bring the old enemies closer off the pitch in a #FansTogether golf day.
“However, you could sense that competitive edge and rivalry once the first tee shot was struck and also see the hurt on the faces of the PNE team at the end of the round.
“The feedback from former players and fans on the day was brilliant, and we hope more PNE fans will come forward to bolster our bid to reclaim the shield next season.”