By Andrew Atkinson

Former Preston North End and Republic of Ireland player Michael Keane has sent over 400 Christmas cards to Lilywhites fans to lift spirits, amid COVID-19.

“A total of 414 Christmas cards have been sent in what has been a special year and one we will all remember throughout our lives with the coronavirus,” Michael told The Leader.

Keano, who celebrates his 38th birthday on December 29, signed by David Moyes as a teenager in 2000, said: “Many people have said why would a former player do this – it’s unusual.

“From day one of walking through the doors at Deepdale something special happened. I just really fell completely for the club.

“It’s special – a family club – and the Christmas cards means a lot to the Preston fans. Once a North Ender, always a North Ender.”

Keano, who made 56 appearances for The Lilywhites, said: “Take care of yourselves and tell all your loved ones to take care and stay safe.

“Have a happy, healthy Christmas and New Year – you all deserve it.”