School football shirt scores support for St Catherine’s
A bargain find at Preston Market which uncovered a long lost football shirt has ended up scoring support for St Catherine’s Hospice.
When Andrew Atkinson came across the item, which was later identified as having belonged to a member of a Preston Grammar School Old Boys’ team, he knew he’d found something special.
He snapped it up and sent in a photo to the Lancashire Evening Post in a bid to find out more, and was contacted by the Preston Grammar School Association.
The group was keen to add the shirt, which dates back to the 1930s, to its archives, and Andrew was pleased to offer it in return for a donation to the hospice.
He said: “I have a property in Spain and a friend there runs a pub, so he wanted me to find some local football shirts to put up there.
“I enjoy going to auctions and car boot sales, so I went to a car boot at Preston Market to see if I could find anything for him.
“I noticed this shirt at the bottom of the pile and just thought it was interesting – it seemed to be of some significance.”
He bagged a bargain after paying just 50p for the shirt, and was keen to help St Catherine’s when the opportunity arose to donate the kit to the Preston Grammar School Association.
“Some of my family have been cared for at the hospice,” Andrew said. “It’s a very good place when it comes to caring for people. I don’t know what the situation would be for people if the hospice wasn’t here.
“As a charity, I know that St Catherine’s receives some funding from the NHS, but for the main part it has to stand on its own two feet, so I wanted to help.”
Charlie Billington, Secretary of the Preston Grammar School Association, said: “It’s an Old Boys’ shirt and the badge is from the Lancashire Amateur League Northern Section, Division Two, 1938-39.
“It’s quite unusual to find something like this, and it’s significant because it was worn by a player who belonged to a Championship-winning side – in 1939 the Club won both the First and Second Division titles, a unique feat.
“We were very interested in adding it to a collection which also includes my old shirt and a kit belonging to former PNE Chairman Alan Jones, who recently passed away.
“We were more than happy to make a donation to St Catherine’s.”
Members from the association met with Andrew at the hospice to present the cheque to the charity, and receive the football shirt.
Hospice fundraiser Norman Cutler said: “It’s great how this story has progressed from Andrew finding a 50p football shirt from the 1930s at a car boot sale, to the association gaining something special to add to its archives, and the hospice benefitting from a generous donation. What a fantastic outcome for everyone involved!
“The money generated from the find of this historical football shirt will be used to help fund care for future generations.”
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