Please Support Alzheimer’s Society’s Cross-Football #Supportthesupporters Campaign

Football clubs join forces to spread Alzheimer’s Society dementia diagnosis message to fans across Emirates FA Cup fourth round weekend

Clubs are backing charity’s Support The Supporters campaign with several activations to raise awareness around dementia symptoms and encourage diagnosis

The Emirates FA Cup fourth round weekend (25-29 January) will see clubs and organisations across the football pyramid come together in support of an Alzheimer’s Society drive to encourage dementia diagnosis.

As part of the charity’s partnership with The Football Association (FA) and supported by the Premier League, English Football League, Vanarama National League and League Managers Association, the charity’s Support The Supporters campaign will help fans support their loved ones by looking out for common signs of dementia and helping them take the first steps in seeking a diagnosis.

Clubs and organisations across English football will help share advice on spotting symptoms, and information on how fans can seek support, as well as the Alzheimer’s Society’s symptoms checklist, endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners, which aims to aid discussions with GPs and healthcare professionals.

Alzheimer’s Society has also produced a powerful video of football fan Charlie Gibson and his grandad Barry, who lives with dementia. It shows how the pair’s relationship blossomed through football, and details when Charlie first spotted symptoms, as well as how a diagnosis has helped him support his grandad.

Football should be unforgettable, but dementia is the UK’s biggest killer, with 1 in 3 people born today going on to develop it in their lifetime. Diagnosis rates hit a five year low during the pandemic and have stagnated ever since, with thousands currently living with undiagnosed dementia. Too many people still think dementia is just a sign of normal ageing, are unsure of the symptoms, and too afraid to visit their GP.

An early and accurate diagnosis unlocks access to treatment, care and support, allowing people to manage their condition better and plan for the future. An Alzheimer’s Society survey revealed that 91% of people affected by dementia saw clear benefits to getting a diagnosis, with many wishing they’d received one earlier.

Joanna Manning-Cooper, Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs at The FA, said: “Football should be unforgettable but sadly for many living with dementia, this isn’t the case. We really want to see fans who see the signs of dementia in a loved one to support them just as much as they support their team, by spotting the signs and symptoms and not shying away from helping them take the first step towards a diagnosis.”

The football community is coming together at an especially busy time for Alzheimer’s Society, as people often spot changes in loved ones after seeing them for the first time in a while over the festive period. Calls to the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Support Line were up 19% in January 2023 compared to the 2022 monthly average.

Alzheimer’s Society has been The FA’s official charity partner since 2021. This season, the partnership will also fund research that will help transform the future of dementia diagnosis, speeding up how quickly and how early we are able to diagnose dementia, changing the game for fans and players in years to come.

The partnership has already made a tangible impact – over £600,000 has been raised to date, and thousands more fans, players and staff now know where to go to access vital dementia support.

Alzheimer’s Society CEO, Kate Lee, said: “Getting a dementia diagnosis is devastating, but it means you can get the practical advice and emotional support you need and deserve. Football is such a powerful vehicle in spreading a message as important as this one, and we are very grateful to have the support of some of the most recognisable organisations and clubs in the game to help create a future where football is unforgettable.”

If you see the signs of dementia in a loved one, show them your support by visiting to use Alzheimer’s Society’s symptoms checklist and get further information on seeking a diagnosis.


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