As one of 12 individuals to have starred in the club’s season card campaign that has been positively impacted by the work of Preston North End Community and Education Trust in the past 18 months, Walking Football participant Eddie was delighted to share his memories of supporting Preston North End when on filming duties for the promotional video.
Having passed his love of the club down through the generations to his son, Eddie recounted how he first came to supporting the Lilywhites.
“I first watched Preston North End in 1958/59 when I was ten, then the following season was Sir Tom Finney’s last season,” Eddie recalled. “I have just continued to support the club since then.
“I remember going to Sir Tom Finney’s last game; I used to go to every home game with my dad and he was crying, just like many other grown men! I still remember it well, it was against Fulham. I was lucky enough to see him play that season and it was an emotional day for many seeing him play for the last time.
“I went to the 2001 Play-Off Final against Bolton in Cardiff and the 2015 one at Wembley, which was a great day, especially after the disappointment in Cardiff. It was nice to see us win in a final and get back in the Championship.
Eddie is looking forward to returning to Deepdale in the 2021/22 season and getting back to watching his beloved club.
“I am going to be getting my season ticket in the next few weeks on the Invincible’s stand, back in my seat for the upcoming season. I am really looking forward to being able to watch live football again.
“I honestly believe we are a very well run- club. It’s a nice community club and a club I am proud to support.”
Preston North End Community and Education Trust is the club’s official charity, delivering projects in and around Preston that are centred around Community Engagement, Education, and Health and Wellbeing, with the ultimate goal of creating safer, stronger and more resilient communities.
Among its provision is the Walking Football programme, with the Trust among the pioneers of the programme’s inception in the last decade; engaging men over 50 and women of all ages and encouraging them to partake in physical activity through the slower paced version of the beautiful game.
The programme has recently restarted, having been halted for more than a year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. In the intervening period, the Trust offered a weekly Zoom session for its Walking Football members to join and catch-up with fellow participants.
Some Walking Football participants were also engaged in the Tackling Loneliness Together programme, which included food hampers and mental wellbeing packs being delivered to some members to keep them active and engaged in the community while physical activities could not take place.
Eddie is a long-time member of the walking football session, which currently takes place every Friday and is aimed to support people’s physical wellbeing by helping men over 50 and women of all ages to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Through the session, he has been able to meet like-minded Preston North End supporters.
Eddie retains the same fondness for playing the game with Preston North End Community and Education Trust as he does watching the team at Deepdale.
“I first heard about walking football when someone told me about it and it was taking place at PlayFootball,” he continued.
“I enjoy the company of the others and it is always good banter. It’s something which I look forward too and allows me the opportunity to still be involved with the sport.”
The Walking Football programme runs from 11am until 1pm every Friday with two one-hour slots at PlayFootball Preston, Tag Lane, PR2 3TX. Anyone can join the session, but must book a place in advance by clicking here, by contacting Health and Wellbeing Officer Hannah White, either on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07880071548.