Fans, supporters and the community of a local Premier League football club have helped save thousands of lives across Wales with the Blood Sweat and Cheers campaign.

The ongoing campaign between the (FAW) and the Welsh Blood Service was launched in November 2020 and has potentially saved the lives of 3,000 patients.

Haverfordwest County AFC is one of the clubs involved with the club, fans and the local community encouraged to support patients in need by donating blood, platelets and bone marrow.

Football Association of Wales CEO and blood donor, Noel Mooney, recently teamed up with four colleagues to give blood and mark the campaign’s third anniversary.

“In each community across Cymru there are people whose lives have been saved or improved thanks to donations, and we continue to call on football fans to get involved and become lifesaving champions,” he said.

“The Welsh Blood Service is our first community partner for the JD Cymru Leagues and Genero Adran Leagues, and we’re delighted to have made and retained such an important signing. Football really does save lives.”

Milford Mercury: S4C’s Sgorio football reporter, Nicky John's family has benefitted twice from blood donors.

S4C’s Sgorio football reporter, Nicky John, understands the benefits of donating after receiving a lifesaving blood transfusion following the birth of her son Sam. The mother-of-two from Harlech had a further encounter with blood transfusions after her daughter Emi was diagnosed with cancer.

Baby Emi was diagnosed at just 13 months old with a type of kidney cancer in March 2022. She received 12 months of chemotherapy and underwent a lengthy operation. Fortunately, thanks to the treatment received, Emi went on to make a full recovery.

Milford Mercury: Emi during chemotherapy

“You never think it’s going to be you or your child, but what our family’s experience has established to me is just how vital it is to give blood if you’re able to do so,” said Nicky. “It’s difficult to put into words what a difference you’re making.

“It really can be the difference between life and death, and I couldn’t be more grateful. The support we’ve received from the local community and football fans across Wales during the last 18 months is something I will never forget.”

Alan Prosser, Welsh Blood Service Director, said: “Having the support of the FAW, the leagues, and their fans has been critical in helping us highlight the need for more donors. The campaign has exceeded all our expectations and continues to grow, with nearly 70 clubs now participating.

“Our challenge is to recruit 11,000 new donors each year, and we’re hoping by continuing to promote such a good cause, the campaign will continue to help patients in need, like Emi, for years to come.”

Emi’s treatment was successful, but for some blood cancer patients, their only hope of recovery is to receive a bone marrow transplant.

Alan continued: “Each year, the Service aims to recruit 4,000 17 to 30-year-olds to join the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry and help improve outcomes for blood cancer patients.

“There are two ways to join, by asking to join when donating blood or by requesting a swab kit through our website. The kits are delivered right to your door, making joining easier than ever before.”

Visit today to help someone in need like Emi and find out more about the ‘Blood, Sweat and Cheers’ campaign.