Sunderland stars join organ donor call

CAMPAIGN BAKER: Sunderland AFC's  Jack Rodwell.
CAMPAIGN BAKER: Sunderland AFC's Jack Rodwell.
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PREMIERSHIP players are aiming to score more organ donors as they back a campaign to sign up new members to the register.

Sunderland AFC has pledged its support for the NHS Blood and Transplant’s Sign for Life awareness drive.

In the lead-up to and during today’s home game against West Bromwich Albion, fans will be asked to show the red card to organ transplant waiting lists.

Thirty two of the 7,000 people waiting for a transplant across the UK are in Sunderland.

Black Cats midfielder Jack Rodwell said: “I didn’t know that an organ donation can help up to nine people.

“One person can make such a huge difference to so many families and, hopefully, we have helped raise this awareness.”

Anthony Clarkson, assistant director for Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “In Sunderland alone 16 people have died in the last five years while waiting for an organ.

“Football is our national sport and if Sunderland fans can be inspired by their passion for the game to support organ donation, they would offer hope to all those waiting for a transplant.”

People can join the register by via or calling 0300 123 23 23 and to tell their families their decision.

They can also join the conversation online with the hash tag #organdonor and can follow on Twitter @NHSOrganDonor.