Hull FC unveil charity shirt as chairman Adam Pearson hopes for 'lasting impact'

Hull FC have launched their 2024 charity shirt.
-Credit: (Image: Justin O J Sloan, Hull FC)

Hull FC have launched their 2024 charity shirt, with the club supporting a cause close to their hearts: Alzheimer’s Society. They will aim to highlight the importance of early dementia diagnosis with the limited edition jersey worn at next month's home game against St Helens on August 3.

The players will play without their names on the back of their shirts, drawing attention to how people with dementia lose precious memories, even the names of their favourite players, signifying one of the cruellest symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia-related memory loss.

Ex-players James Leuluai and David Doyle-Davidson, as well as former head coach Royce Simmons, are all currently living with the effects of dementia, while Tony Duke, Chris Davidson, and George Robinson have all sadly lost their battles with the illness in the last 18-months. Dementia is the UK’s biggest killer, and almost one million people are living with the condition, yet a third of those affected have not received a diagnosis.

Hull FC have previously supported Alzheimer’s Society, auctioning their match-worn shirts after the 2022 Magic Weekend fixture. They will do the same this year, with all shirts signed by members of the playing squad and auctioned via the club’s eBay channel, with all proceeds donated to Alzheimer’s Society.

Hull FC chairman, Adam Pearson, said: "As a club, we know all too well the cruel effects that Alzheimer's and dementia can cause. We’ve seen several of our former players and staff affected by the illness in recent years, some of whom are sadly no longer with us, while I know there are many across our organisation whose family members have been affected too. It is a truly terrible disease that robs people of some of their most basic human faculties—most notably, and undoubtedly most sadly, their memories.

"Alzheimer’s Society works tirelessly to help fund research into early diagnosis and eventually finding a cure, and we’re proud to play a small role in spreading that awareness amongst our supporters and the Rugby League community. If our campaign through unveiling this jersey can help just one person receive an early diagnosis of the illness, it will have made a lasting impact."

Tom Briscoe in Hull FC's new charity shirt.
Tom Briscoe in Hull FC's new charity shirt. -Credit:Justin O J Sloan, Hull FC

Produced by Castore® the shirt features imagery and newspaper headlines from some of the club’s most iconic moments throughout it's 159 year history, including the 2016 Challenge Cup Final victory, and the homecoming victory parade following the 1983 Championship success, as well as photos of legendary players including Johnny Whiteley MBE and David Topliss.

The Alzheimer’s Society logo takes pride of place on the front of the shirt, with main club partner Ecostrad proudly forgoing their sponsorship rights, which would ordinarily see them featured on the shirt.

Alzheimer’s Society fundraiser, Ju Henderson, added: “We’re really excited to be teaming up with Hull FC for this special jersey partnership and are hugely grateful to the club and Ecostrad for supporting our work in this way. It’s so important to us to not only raise funds for our local services but also to raise awareness of dementia, which is the UK’s biggest killer.

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“One in three people born today will develop dementia in their lifetime, so it’s vital that we continue to support families, fund research, and keep dementia high on the government agenda.”

Hull FC fan Jo, who currently resides at the Beverley Parklands Care Home and is living with the illness, became the very first supporter to receive the jersey earlier this week as part of the home’s ‘Inspire24’ project. She was visited by first-team players Brad Fash and Jordan Lane, both of whom have had family members diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

The 78-year-old lifelong supporter, whose all-time favourite player is Steve ‘Knocker’ Norton, still holds the Black and Whites close to her heart, keeping memorabilia in her room, and has created many FC themed scrapbooks over the years. The charity shirt is on sale online as of this Thursday evening, and in store from Friday morning.

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