Pictured from left to right: Leeds United FC players Gaetano Berardi, Mirco Antenucci, Sam Byram and Scott Wootton. Please credit pictures to Simon Hulme/ YPN

This week, players from Leeds United Football Club have stepped up to show their support for Yorkshire’s Be a Hero campaign, which aims to encourage more people in the region to sign the donor register.

On Tuesday 4th August, the Be a Hero mascot joined the LUFC squad at their training ground in Boston Spa, to mark the Club’s backing of the campaign, launched by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) earlier this month to raise awareness of the 800 people currently on the transplant waiting list in Yorkshire.

The campaign has had an overwhelming response from Yorkshire residents and well-known personalities since its launch at the beginning of July, receiving the backing of actor Sir Patrick Stewart, cricket legends Geoffrey Boycott and Joe Root, royal approval from the campaign’s patron, the Duchess of York, and today, the announcement that Leeds United FC will be championing the cause.

One of the Clinical Leads for Organ Donation at LTHT, Dr Simon Flood, explains: “It’s extremely exciting to have Leeds United FC on board. We’re very hopeful that with the support of the Club and their loyal fans, more people in Yorkshire will come forward to sign the donor register and ensure that those individuals waiting for a transplant in our region have a brighter future.”

“Last year, just over 100 people in Yorkshire donated an organ after their death and while these amazing individuals provided 294 lifesaving transplants, sadly there are still approximately 800 people in Yorkshire waiting for an organ.”

Leeds United FC player Sam Byram commented; “We feel very strongly about supporting this important campaign. The circumstances surrounding organ donation have affected, and continue to affect, so many families and communities in our region, and we are pleased to be able to do our bit to raise awareness of the number of people on the transplant waiting list in Yorkshire and hope many people will be touched by the Be a Hero campaign and sign the donor register”.

Scott Wootton, Leeds United FC player added; “It takes just two minutes to sign the donor register. We hope that fans will join us in supporting the Be a Hero campaign and ensure that many more lives can be saved in our communities. I’m sure if any of us needed an organ then we would take it, so why not be willing to give one if it came to it too.”

The Leeds Transplant Centre at LTHT has been providing complex specialist organ transplantation services for the Yorkshire and Humber region for over 25 years.  It is the third largest liver transplant unit in the UK, a leading centre for ‘live related’ transplants and a regional centre for renal transplants.

You can find out more about organ donation and join the NHS Organ Donor Register at www.leedsth.nhs.uk/be-a-hero or by calling 0300 123 23 23 – please remember to reference the Yorkshire ‘Be a Hero’ campaign.

(Image by Simon Hume)

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