Prince William reveals he is a fan of Netflix documentary Sunderland 'Til I Die as Sunderland AFC's mental health initiative goes national

The organisers of Sunderland AFC’s pioneering Mental Health Hub have come face-to-face with Royalty.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 3:31 pm
Updated Sunday, 9th February 2020, 1:05 am
The Duke of Cambridge (second left) plays a game of table football at the launch of The Heads Up Weekends at Paddington's Heist Bank, London.

Branch Liaison Committee members Joanne Youngson and Cath Reid met the Duke of Cambridge at the launch of the Heads Up Weekend mental health initiative.

Joanne said she was surprised to discover the the Duke was a fan of Sunderland Til I Die, the warts-and-all behind-the-scenes documentary charting the Black Cats’ fall from Championship grace.

She said: “He was really lovely.

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Joanne Youngson and Cath Reid (centre left and right) at the launch of Sunderland Fan's Mental Health Hub at the Beacon of Light

“We were playing table football with him and I had my club badge on and I said ‘Hello, I’m from Sunderland’.

“He asked ‘What division are Sunderland in now?’. I thought he was being serious, but then he started laughing.

“I asked him ‘Did you watch Sunderland Til I Die?’ and he said he did and asked me when the new series of the show is coming out.”

Joanne and Cath were invited down to represent The Hub mental health initiative which offers support and advice to fan’s experiencing difficulties.

Based at the Beacon of Light it opens 11.45am to 2.45pm before every Saturday 3pm home game, welcoming home and away supporters.

It is staffed by two trained counsellors from Washington Mind and volunteers from the club’s Branch Liaison Commitee (BLC).

“Because of the work being done in the Mental Health Hub, they asked us to go down and represent the club,” said Joanne.

On February 8-9 and 15-16 teams from across the Premier League, English Football League, The National League, The Barclays Women's Super League, The FA Women's Championship and The FA Women's National League will dedicate their matches to mental health campaign Heads Up.

The Duke said: "The fact that we're all here today, having a laugh, talking about mental health, raising the profile of mental health through football, is a real achievement.

"Mental health is a positive subject, it is something we can all talk about, it is something we can all get on board with, personally, for me, seeing and hearing some of your stories... whether you're a professional footballer, whether you're a fan... thank you for being a part of this.”