Sign for life - football clubs support new organ donation campaign

Monday, 23 Feb 2015

Sign for Life - football clubs support new organ donation campaign

NHS Blood and Transplant and a number of top Premier League, Championship and League One football clubs across the country are launching a campaign to urge fans to show the red card to organ transplant waiting lists. We are asking football fans and their friends and family to think about organ donation and to be inspired by their club's support for the campaign. Whatever the results, they can help us to score another name on the Organ Donor Register as well as tell their family that they want to be an organ donor.

There are currently around 10,000 people in need of a transplant and the fact is there are simply not enough organs available. One organ donor can transform the lives of up to nine people. If more families agreed to donate their loved one's organs, more lives could be saved.

Anthony Clarkson, Assistant Director for Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant said, "We are asking all football fans to take a moment to reflect on matchday not just on their team's result, but on whether they would like to help others to live after they have died by donating their organs. We are delighted that so many top teams are working with us to encourage their fans to join the Organ Donor Register, showing that they want to save and improve the lives of others. Football is our national sport and the passion fans have for the game and their team will, through this campaign, offer hope to all those who are waiting for a transplant."

Teams across the country have pledged their support for the Sign for Life campaign. Chelsea, Manchester City, Southampton, Everton, Sunderland, Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa, Stoke City, Sheffield Wednesday, Bolton Wanderers, Reading, Charlton Athletic, Wigan, Swindon Town, Rochdale and Notts County are all onboard. Some of the Chelsea Ladies team will be joining in the promotion by being photographed in Sign for Life t-shirts. Each club will be supporting the campaign in different ways. Some of these ways include featuring information in their match day programmes, via official club social media or on stadium screens.

Dr Steve Baynes, club Doctor at Southampton Football Club said, "Through my work as a medical practitioner I have seen how organ transplantation can have a huge and life changing impact on people's lives. Signing the Organ Donor Register really is a simple process - it takes five minutes of your time and means that should the time come, your family will know you want to donate your organ."

Getting involved with the campaign is simple. To join the NHS Organ Donor Register, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 23 23. Let your friends and family know when you have signed The Organ Donor Register and join the conversation online by using the campaign hash tag #organdonor.

Ends

  • The following links to a video for the media to use online or on TV Sign for Life campaign video
  • For additional information please contact Natalie Smart on 01923 366 844 or Pauline O'Brien on 01923 367 669.
  • For out of hours enquiries please call: 0117 969 2444.

Notes to editors

  • NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. Its remit includes the provision of a reliable, efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England and North Wales. It is also the organ donor organisation for the UK and is responsible for matching and allocating donated organs.
  • All club activity will be taking place around matches between Friday 20th February and Sunday 1st March.
  • The NHS Organ Donor Register records the details of people who have registered their wishes to donate organs and/or tissue after their death for transplantation. This information is used by authorised medical staff to establish whether a person wanted to donate.
  • It's simple to join the ODR by:
  • Anyone can register on the ODR. Age isn't a barrier to being an organ or tissue donor and neither are most medical conditions. People in their 70's and 80's have become donors and saved many lives.
  • One donor can save or transform up to nine lives and many more can be helped through the donation of tissues.
  • There are currently around 10,000 people in the UK in need of an organ transplant. This figure changes constantly though as people join and leave the transplant list.
  • Three people a day across the UK die before they get the organ they need - that's over 1,000 people every year