Bernard Jones: Preston North End fan and 'oldest mascot' dies, aged 107

Bernard Jones (left) with Preston striker Sean Maguire
Bernard Jones (left) met all the Preston players - including striker Sean Maguire - when he was mascot

A lifelong Preston North End supporter and 'oldest mascot' has died, aged 107.

Wales-born Bernard Jones became a fan after listening to their 1939 FA Cup final win over Huddersfield, and later married a woman from Preston.

He held a season ticket until the age of 100 and five years later was invited to be a mascot at Deepdale.

"We hope Bernard took many happy memories from supporting the club and at this time we send our condolences to his family and friends," the club said.

Former mechanic Bernard recalled watching Sir Tom Finney and Bill Shankly wear the famous white shirt, during an era when they were competing towards the top of the old First Division.

He led the team out on the opening day of the 2017-18 Championship season for a game against Sheffield Wednesday - which the Lilywhites won 1-0 - and by doing so seemingly becoming the oldest mascot in English football.

Speaking to BBC Radio Lancashire after the game, Bernard said: "They gave me a football at the end, and a Preston shirt - the football was all signed by the players as I met them in the dressing room. It was wonderful."

Last year Vera Cohen, 102, and sister Olga Halon, 97, were Manchester City mascots for their Premier League game with Fulham.

Bernard Jones
Bernard moved to Preston years after deciding to support them