Football players and fans came together on Saturday to support Joe Thompson, the Tranmere winger who has been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, a form of cancer.
The Rovers players conducted their pre-match warm-up routines wearing specially printed T-shirts with Thompson’s image on the front and the number seven – Thompson’s squad number – on the back.
Supporters of both clubs then joined in a minute’s applause for the 24-year-old winger in the seventh minute of the 1-1 draw – with North End’s showing an image of Thompson throughout the minute.
A message on the scoreboard said:
“Joe Thompson, everyone in football is behind you.”
Thompson and his wife were both at Deepdale – the couple have been inundated with goodwill messages since the news of his condition was released by Tranmere last Friday
Rovers manager Ronnie Moore said: “The minute’s applause was fantastic. We’ve got to thank the Preston crowd and the guy who put Joe’s picture up on the scoreboard.
“Joe’s wife was here today. They’ve got a one-year-old child and that will help him in his fight.
“We had a hard match that Joe has a hard six months to come. We’re all behind him.”
Meanwhile Rochdale, the club where Thompson cut his teeth as an apprentice then young professional also held a minute’s applause during their game against AFC Wimbledon.
LFE regional officer for the North West Craig Skinner added: “We are all stunned by the news and all our thoughts are with Joe and his family.”
“Joe’s a cracking lad and I’m sure everyone will join us in wishing him a full and speedy recovery.”