Home Charity Rotherham United set to ‘Give the Hospice a Hand’

Rotherham United set to ‘Give the Hospice a Hand’


Rotherham United are incredibly proud to be ‘giving the Hospice a hand’ as they pledge their full support to the red glove initiative which will see vital funds raised for the Rotherham Hospice at its Sky Bet League One fixture with Shrewsbury Town on Saturday 19th March.

It promises to be a sight like no other ever seen at a match at AESSEAL New York Stadium when thousands of fans don red gloves in aid of the Broom-based charity following the idea being conceived by the club’s Honorary Life President and long-term supporter of the hospice, John Breckin.

It may have naturally come to be known to Millers fans as ‘Red Glove Day’ as Breck continues to spread the word both in-person and online, but will officially be coined as ‘Give the Hospice a Hand’ on what promises to be a huge fundraising opportunity for a charity – who like many across the country – have felt the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on their financial balance sheets.

Ironically then, the evergreen Breckin is calling for a sea of red when Paul Warne’s men welcome the Shrews for league action in South Yorkshire, with 6,000 pairs of red gloves safely in his possession and currently being stored at the Rotherham Hospice.

John’s association with the hospice needs no further discussion and it is as a result of his strong links with colleagues at the Rotherham Hospice that the club has continued to form a strong relationship, which continues to grow with the help of club Chairman Tony Stewart – who has also been a long-term supporter of the hospice located on Broom Road.

Breck, who has understandably been excited about the idea since thinking it up as his next big fundraising drive for the hospice, has promised to take charge of the matchday playlist at AESSEAL New York Stadium to ‘ramp up’ the atmosphere with classics such as ‘Sweet Caroline’ and ‘The Boys are Back in Town’.

He has also enlisted the help of various local performers to try and create a ‘carnival atmosphere’, which Breck not only believes will be great for the fundraising efforts, but also, in turn, help Warne’s men on the pitch.

Volunteers from the Rotherham Hospice and staff from our Community Sports Trust will be positioned around AESSEAL New York Stadium armed with red gloves to distribute and buckets for donations to the charity.

The gloves are free for any supporter to collect on their way into the ground, but we are asking that fans make any kind of donation up to any amount they’d like to give as they take a pair.

John Breckin, Honorary Life President at Rotherham United, whose wife Denise died in the Hospice in 2006, said: “Rotherham Hospice has touched so many people’s lives in this town and I like to help out with their fundraising whenever I can.

“I had this idea, envisaging thousands of fans waving and clapping all wearing red gloves and thought we could have some fun on the day whilst raising money for a great cause, not least because the Hospice needs around £6m a year to keep it functioning.”

“Our Chairman, Tony Stewart, thought it was a great idea and is fully supportive and I’ve had fantastic backing from various club sponsors and businesses including KCM Waste Management, EMG Marketing, CRB Doors, Eagle Platforms, House Hairdressers, Wickersley PA Entertainments, Good Measure Pharmacy, Maltby Main FC and big Millers fan Bill Dabell, which will mean everything fans contribute will be profit and go to the Hospice.

“We are a community club and I’ve found that the people of Rotherham are so generous and we certainly look after our own.”

John, who is donating profits from his book (Breck: My Life in Football) to the Hospice which he hopes will reach £10,000 eventually, added: “The Hospice has had a tough time with its fundraising during the past two years of the pandemic and this is a chance to give them a hand – hence the red glove idea.

“We will aim for a carnival atmosphere with dancers, acrobats etc., and the intention is to ramp up the music inside the stadium in the 20 minutes before kick off with all the football anthems and all the Millers songs.

“The players will warm up wearing red gloves; Paul Warne and his staff will be wearing them when issuing instructions from the dugout and they’ll be clapping with them in the Directors’ Box as well.

“Our highest profile fan in America, Howard Webb, is scouring New York for some red gloves so he can join in when he watches the game, as usual, on the Millers iFollow channel.”

“I can just imagine the sight with thousands around the ground clapping in unison and then raising their red-gloved hands. Hopefully, it turns out to be a doubly important day – a win for the Millers and money raised for a great cause along the way.”

The JustGiving page for the event can be found here.

Images: RUFC

Tom Austen
Tom grew up in Aston, Rotherham and studied Human Geography at Nottingham Trent University before developing a passion for promoting Rotherham and a nose for a good story.


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