Well sort of!
Stirling Albion Football Club and the John Hartson Foundation have entered into partnership to support John’s Testicular Cancer nationwide awareness campaign. The initial contract is for two years and SAFC will be working with John and his business partner, Les Laing, in maximising every opportunity to raise the profile of his charity foundation.
The following extract from the Foundation’s website http://www.johnhartsonfoundation.com/ best describes the background:
The John Hartson Foundation has been set up through the determination of John himself as he continues to battle through his horrendous ordeal, this is the character of the man, his main focus will be to openly offer his experience in going through a traumatic time since he was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer after ignoring a lump for four years, John admits himself that if he was aware of how easy it was to get checked and that Testicular Cancer is over 90% curable if caught early enough he probably would not have had to go through the brain operations, lung operations and over 60 sessions of chemotherapy.
The aims and objectives of the Foundation will be to raise awareness of Testicular Cancer and how easy and most of all how important it is to check yourself on a regular basis, the foundation will also raise funds to provide cancer organisations more support throughout the UK.
Speaking on behalf of SAFC and the Supporters’ Trust, Stuart Brown, Operations Director said:
“I am delighted that, from a chance meeting with John and Les a couple of months ago, we have reached the point where we are working together to help raise the awareness of a disease, which has so deeply impacted on John and his family.
“It was Neil Robertson, Acting Trust Chair, who brought John and Les along to Forthbank, simply for an informal visit. We kitted John out with a Home Shirt for a photo opportunity too good to miss and had a lengthy chat in the Boardroom that was strictly social and not business. I thought no more about it until several weeks later, when Neil contacted me to say that Les had been in touch to say that John wanted us to consider his offer of going into partnership to help him raise awareness for his Foundation and thereby of testicular cancer. He had liked what he had seen (and the people he’d met!) during his visit and wanted to help us at the same time as us helping him. Pretty much the perfect recipe for a partnership!
“The first visible sign of our partnership at work will be on the replica kit that is currently being branded with the John Hartson Foundation Logo. I hope to have this available in the Club Shop early next week. As we move forward, we will be exploring every possible avenue to get the profile of the Foundation raised, including personal appearances by John to share his experiences to try to prevent others from making the same ‘mistake’ that he did.”
John Hartson added:
“I am looking forward to working with my foundation alongside Stirling Albion to get the awareness message for testicular cancer out there. I believe working with people who have put themselves out to help others and working with the people who saved the life of a football club, shows me the commitment Stirling Albion has. I hope the foundation can tap this commitment to get the ‘check yourself’ message across.”
A formal launch of the partnership will be arranged when John and Les are next able to visit Stirling. We hope to see them many times at Forthbank during the course of the next two years as we work together in raising the awareness of testicular cancer… It only takes 10 seconds to check.