Queens Park Rangers host Rotherham this weekend in the Championship, but on Saturday the crowd will be asked to visit more than just the inside of Loftus Road.
Blood cancer charity DKMS will be setting up a swab centre outside the stadium, hoping to encourage people to take a test and see if they are a match for a youngster in need of treatment, with the initiative set up by QPR defender Jimmy Dunne.
Over 15,000 fans were in attendance at the Hoops’ first home game this season and just shy of 13,000 at the second, with Rotherham supporters also being encouraged to take part.
Daniel Greer is a 14-year-old family friend of Dunne’s, who is suffering from acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and is need of a blood stem cell donor.
Doctors told the teen he would require a bone marrow transplant earlier this year after chemotherapy.
“I’m asking Rotherham fans as well as QPR fans, and the community of football as a collective,” Dunne said. “It has a greater meaning than how important the football match is to people. We are obsessed with football and it’s our lives but there are people out there literally fighting for their lives. The more people that show up, the more likely we are to find a match.”
The test centre will be on South Africa Road between 12:30pm and 2:30pm before the match, with fans able to be swab tested immediately ahead of kick-off.
Dunne also noted that matches could be found for other people around the UK who were searching for donors. He is also hoping to get further teams involved outside of QPR.
“It is very urgent and a race against time. I have discussed it with some of the lads,” Dunne said to the Irish Times. “It has shocked some of them a little bit. It is still really fresh but the staff have been great and very supportive. Going forward, after this game on Saturday, it is something I’m going to talk more about and hopefully we can get test kits sent out to every football club, or as many as want to take part.”