Sheffield United’s tussle with near neighbours Rotherham United on March 9 has been designated as an awareness fixture for the Blade’s official charity partner, Weston Park Cancer Charity.
The organisation is aiming to take the opportunity to highlight the extent of their tireless work in aid of cancer patients across the region, with a particular emphasis on their ‘Bring a Quid’ concept, which urges supporters who are able to bring a £1 donation to the ground in the run up to kick off.
Ahead of the match, Sheffield United Manager, Chris Wilder, said: “We are delighted to welcome Weston Park Cancer Charity to takeover Bramall Lane and spread the word about the incredible work they do for cancer patients across our region.
“Weston Park’s dedicated army of volunteers will be stationed outside our turnstiles prior to kick off and we want you to put in your pounds and help us make a massive difference to thousands of patients and their families living with and beyond cancer.”
At 48-years-old, lifelong Sheffield United supporter, Peter Hobson was diagnosed with bowel cancer and is currently receiving treatment at Weston Park Cancer Centre.
Peter will be in attendance at Saturday’s game and is helping to raise awareness of some of the vital support services funded by Weston Park Cancer Charity by sharing his cancer journey, which will feature in the official match day programme.
He said: “When I first heard the words: you have cancer, I felt numb. I was in a complete state of shock and all I could think was: why is this happening to me?
“How people rally round in the face of a diagnosis - and beyond - is amazing. From the healthcare professionals to support groups such as Weston Park Cancer Information and Support Centre, I would like to thank everyone I have encountered on this journey. The care offered at Weston Park is simply unbelievable.”
Volunteers will be stationed around the perimeter of the stadium before the game – including at every turnstile block – in the hope of receiving donations, which would raise a game-changing five figure sum if every supporter is able to donate just £1.
Charity mascot, Westie will also take to the pitch alongside Captain Blade at half time.
Weston Park Cancer Charity Patron, Chairman of the Sheffield United Community Foundation and Vice President of Sheffield United FC, Darren Baker said: “At Sheffield United we are immensely proud to support Weston Park Cancer Charity and we couldn’t be more pleased to welcome them to Bramall Lane on Saturday.
“Weston Park brings comfort and renewed strength to patients and their families dealing with the challenges faced in the wake of a cancer diagnosis and the care and support that they offer is simply outstanding.
“Keep your eyes on the turnstiles and let’s raise lots of cash for this incredible cause.”
By 2020, as many as one in two people will be affected by cancer and consequently, Sheffield United is proud to promote Weston Park Cancer Charity’s services to thousands of football fans throughout the season.
Utilising links with Sheffield United Community Foundation, the partnership aims to amplify awareness amongst fans, players, managers and staff, raise vital funds and develop the perception of cancer in football and the wider community.
Weston Park Cancer Charity CEO, Sam Dixon said: “From hosting free health MOTs to providing match day experiences for patients, our charity partnership with Sheffield United uses the power of football to help create a better life for those living with, and beyond, cancer across our region.
“We are delighted to have been chosen to takeover Bramall Lane and we hope Saturday’s match will be a game changer in increasing awareness and understanding of the specialist care and services we are able to offer thanks to the tireless support of our local community.
“Football is a uniting force and our partnership has the potential to tackle some of the stigma around this devastating disease, whilst raising awareness amongst thousands of fans.
“Donations are entirely optional and there is no obligation, but any support - however big or small - will make a massive difference to the lives of cancer patients across our region. Thank you.”