Preston Condemn Supporter Who Stole Beckford Shirt

  • May 26, 2015 | By Chris Mann
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Preston North End will compensate a young supporter, who appeared to have Jermaine Beckford's match worn shirt stolen from his possession on live television.

Beckford scored a hat-trick on Sunday, as the Lilywhites beat Swindon Town 4-0 to secure promotion to the Championship, but injury forced him off the field midway through the second half at Wembley Stadium.

After taking his seat on the bench, cameras focused on Beckford removing his shirt and handing it to a group of young supporters, before an adult female moved in to claim it as her own.

The shirt was later listed for sale on public trading website Gumtree for as much as £1,500, sparking outrage from footballers, fans and media around the world.

Now, in an official statement posted on their club website, Preston have vowed to present the youngster with a signed shirt that was held back as a spare for Beckford, as well as claiming the woman in question was not at the match as a North End supporter.

The statement read: "The Club have been in consultation with the Football League and the parents of the child who is alleged to have had the shirt taken from him as seen on television cameras covering the match.

"Please note, no one involved in this situation is connected with Preston North End in any way, shape or form.

"The people seated in the area of the incident attended the Play-Off Final as part of the League One Football League Kids' Cup Final which was played earlier in the day.

"We are delighted to say that Jermaine is more than happy to sign and present the child involved with his spare match shirt from the game.

"The Club will also provide a stadium tour for the youngster.

"If the shirt that Jermaine wore is returned to us, we will of course present this to the child in question instead.

"The Club will not be commenting further on the matter at this time and would like the focus returned to Sunday's fantastic achievement and building towards what will be an exciting season in the Championship."

Beckford, who joined Preston on loan from Bolton in November, scored 18 goals during his time with the club and will become a free agent when his Wanderers contract expires on June 30.

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
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