Players from Liverpool FC are backing a new bid to find more bone marrow donors.
The club will host an event at the Anfield stadium on March 25 to encourage more people to sign up as donors. Volunteers will be asked to give a small saliva sample to join the bone marrow register.
Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones and his partner Dani Lawrence are supporting the event, which is being organised in partnership with Anthony Nolan.
Brad has remained a passionate supporter of the charity since his son Luca was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2010 and passed away in November 2011.
Dani, who is an Anthony Nolan ambassador, said: “We are delighted that LFC is backing this event to help raise more awareness of blood cancer. Luca was a happy and healthy four year-old boy when he got diagnosed with leukaemia. You never think it will happen to your family but, if it does you, hope that there’s enough people who have become potential donors to give your loved one another chance at life.
“We particularly need young men aged 16-30 to sign up as they account for 80% of bone marrow donations, yet make up just 12% of our register.”
The event is also being backed by Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva and the Liverpool FC Foundation, which will provide volunteers on the day.
Mark Haig, Liverpool FC Foundation’s head of operations, said: “In supporting Anthony Nolan it gives our community the chance to help others. We urge as many people to come down to Anfield and take advantage of this opportunity to make a difference in combating cancer.”
The event will take place at the Reds Lounge in the Centenary Stand at Anfield Stadium from 3pm until 7pm. A raffle will also be held, with prizes including a signed shirt from the Liverpool first team and a bike donated by the Liverpool FC Foundation.
Anyone who wishes to join the register but who is unable to attend the event can sign up online at http://www.anthonynolan.org/spit.