The author of Preston North End title ‘The Rise of the Invincibles’ has donated a number of copies of the book to the PNECET Helping Hampers campaign.
The Helping Hampers initiative has seen the club and the Community and Education Trust unite to support elderly and vulnerable members of the community amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
Hampers will include not only food, drink and toiletries, but engaging materials, too; such as copies of the club’s matchday programme from the current campaign, puzzle books and exercise sheets, with a select few now set to include a copy of the PNE-themed book.
Written by Michael Barrett, The Rise Of The Invincibles is a graphic novel that recalls tales from the 19th century of English football, including how PNE went unbeaten on their way to winning the title in the inaugural 1888/89 English Football League campaign.
We have also been fortunate enough to receive donated books from fellow author Edward Skingsley, with a series of his North End-themed titles also being included in our hampers.
Michael works part-time on the reception at Royal Preston Hospital and through witnessing the vital work of his colleagues each day during the current crisis, he was keen to show his support in some way, coming in the form of donating to the Helping Hampers campaign.
“Through this tragic situation, I’ve witnessed the amazing outpouring of support for the NHS, and seen the many kind and selfless acts from all sections of the general public – and I suppose they inspired my idea,” Michael told the club website.
“I’m also aware of the impact the loss of football can have, so I thought reading something North End-related could go some way to filling that void.”
Michael believes the Helping Hampers campaign has encapsulated the way the club, the Community and Education Trust and Lilywhites supporters have come together at this unprecedented time.
“I don’t think you can underestimate the value of this scheme,” he added. “For those living alone with maybe no relatives on the end of phone, it lets them know they matter. For those unable to leave the house, it gives them essential items.
“And even those who already have help from others, and indeed the ones helping them, it lets them know the wider community cares and can be relied upon if needed.
“The work PNE and PNE Community and Education Trust has already done for its fans and the people of Preston has been fantastic; add this scheme to the work and effort of our individual fans and fan groups, well, you have something special. Preston North End is a community, it’s a family, and I’m very proud with our reaction, it says a lot.”
Government guidelines have meant an increased amount of downtime for many, and in that sense, World Book Night has perhaps come at the perfect time.
The national celebration of all things written will take place on the night of Thursday 23rd April, with a designated reading hour from 7pm until 8pm.
Michael said: “I love books and would always encourage people to read! Reading stretches your mind, it makes it elastic – the more you read, the more you can absorb.
“World Book Night promotes and celebrates the various ways we tell and receive stories, and makes them accessible.
“Books offer us whatever we want, be it a laugh, comfort, knowledge, escapism – anything at all. At this difficult time, we all need something, so I say pick up a book, you may find in it just what you need. And if it’s a book about North End, then all the better!”
Visit the World Book Night website here.