PNE boss makes charity the big winner

Corrie actor Colson Smith scores from the spot at Deepdale
Corrie actor Colson Smith scores from the spot at Deepdale

Kind-hearted Preston North End supporters, footballers and celebrities braved the rain to help raise £10,000 for the ‘Men United’ Prostate Cancer UK charity.

A Simon Grayson XI took on a PNE fans’ team, in the focal point of a Bank Holiday community day at Deepdale.

On the ball: Emile Heskey in action at Deepdale, watched by Mark Lawrenson

On the ball: Emile Heskey in action at Deepdale, watched by Mark Lawrenson

Fans made bids in excess of £3,000 at auction to play, with North End boss Grayson putting together a side made-up of ex-Lilywhites favourites and celebrities.

Mark Lawrenson, Sean Gregan and Graham Alexander, turned back the clock to play on the Deepdale turf again. Grayson and PNE coach Steve Thompson swapped the technical area for the pitch, with Emile Heskey and David Dunn turning out.

Colson Smith, normally seen on the Coronation Street cobbles as Craig Tinker, led Grayson’s attack.

Former Beautiful South singer Paul Heaton and Soccer AM’s John ‘Fenners’ Fendley, also pulled the boots on.

Ex-Housemartins and Beautiful South front man Paul Heaton (centre) on the attack with Sean Gregan (left)

Ex-Housemartins and Beautiful South front man Paul Heaton (centre) on the attack with Sean Gregan (left)

North End’s young keeper Matt Hudson, fresh from being on the bench at Reading on Saturday, was between the sticks for the Grayson XI.

The fans’ team were under the watchful eyes of Jermaine Beckford, Paul Gallagher and Jordan Hugill, with the smartly-dressed Gallagher certainly having the look of a manager in the making.

Grayson’s side ran out 6-2 winners in front of a crowd of more than 1,000.

The Preston manager got on the scoresheet, as did Scunthorpe boss Alexander.

Simon Grayson on the ball

Simon Grayson on the ball

At the age of 44, ‘Grezza’ still looked a class act and was full of running – he does not look to have added an inch of fat since his playing days.

The player of the year awards were presented at half-time, with club secretary Ben Rhodes receiving a special recognition award from the Preston Supporters’ Group.