The British Polio Fellowship was overwhelmed by the support they received at Birmingham City FC last weekend, as the charity and over 60 of their volunteers joined the club on Easter Monday to raise money while marking the 55th anniversary of the death of Blues legend Jeff Hall, whose life was cut short by Polio during his playing career at the club.
Jeff’s story was played to the 17,000 fans at St. Andrew’s prior to kick off, with a call for text donations and there was moving tribute to Jeff in the matachday programme ‘Blues News’. The British Polio Fellowship was invited to the match because Jeff’s story helped to raise awareness of Polio in the 1950s. His story showed that Polio could affect anyone and led to a huge increase in demand for vaccination.
“We had been looking forward to this event for some time,” said Pam Jones, Chair of the National Board of Trustees for the Fellowship who attended on the day. “Jeff Hall played a really important role in the story of Polio in the UK and his legacy helped to save the lives of thousands. It’s wonderful that the people of Birmingham continue to honour him. The fans were all so welcoming and supportive. It was wonderful to see that Jeff Hall and the wider issue of Polio were given so much respect.”
More than 60 volunteers gave up their Bank Holiday Monday to support the Fellowship. The volunteers mingled with supporters, sharing the story of Jeff Hall and discussing the lasting legacy of Polio in the UK – Post Polio Syndrome (PPS). Buckets were rattled outside the ground and local pubs kindly got in on the act by allowing collections between 12 noon and 3pm too. The charity’s Advan was also in attendance at St. Andrew’s and later drove around Birmingham, spreading the message about Polio and PPS far and wide.
Birmingham City FC had a surprise in store for the volunteers on the day too. The club kindly gave the Fellowship’s supporters the exclusive complimentary use of a box for the day, allowing volunteers to watch the match and enjoy a special treat for all their hard work.
“We are hugely grateful to Birmingham City and the club’s wonderful supporters. It was fantastic to see Jeff Hall being honoured and remembered in the way that he was also to see that people still fighting with Polio in the UK today have not been forgotten,” added Pam.
The text number donation line can still be used to gift money to the charity. By texting BCFC393 to 70070, anyone who missed the game and still wants to pledge their support to the charity can still donate £3 to The British Polio Fellowship. A donation is the perfect way to remember Jeff Hall and at the same time help those still living with the disease that claimed his life.
The British Polio Fellowship is a charity dedicated to helping, supporting and empowering those in the UK living with the effects of Polio and PPS. For more details or information on The British Polio Fellowship, call 0800 043 1935, email at email@example.com or visit the website at www.britishpolio.org.uk