When lifelong Millwall fan Anthony Osbourne died last year – his final wish was to spend his last days with his family.
“Because of the amazing care given by St Christopher’s nurses he was able to do this. St Christopher’s didn’t just care for my Dad, they looked after my whole family. In fact, they still are,” his son Robert Osbourne said speaking on Millwall’s official website.
He has now found a way to get his father’s club involved in supporting the hospice that meant so much to him. In honour of the exceptional care that the hospice gave to his father, he thought it would be a fitting tribute to both the hospice and his father to approach Millwall to help his family fundraise money for the hospice to show respect for the great service they have given in regards to looking after his family.
Osbourne also said: “They do incredible work for our community, and I just knew that Millwall fans would want to join us to say thank you.’’
As a result, an awareness and fundraising initiative was hosted by Millwall at The Den, last weekend on the February 29, prior to the Lion’s match with Bristol City, and it was welcomed with overwhelming support by fans.
In association with St Christopher’s, who provide personal care to 5 South London boroughs including Lewisham, the fundraiser was proposed to enhance recognition of the committed work carried out by the staff at St Christopher’s to the local community.
This was the first time that Millwall and St Christopher’s had worked together and the support for the cause was met with a positive reaction, with £1632.85 donated by fans towards the hospice.
Suzy Fisk, communications and marketing lead at St.Christopher’s, spoke highly about the awareness that the fundraiser had brought in demonstrating acknowledgement of the hospice.
‘’St Christopher’s Hospice was featured in the match-day programme, on Millwall’s social media and the stadium screens, reaching thousands of people who may not have known that much about the work that we do to support the community of South London.’’
In addition to this, she also commended the efforts made by Millwall which enabled the day to go so productively.
‘’They (Millwall) lent us their mascot for the day, who took a tour of the hospice and made friends with patients and staff. They were also extremely helpful and receptive to our fundraising plans.’’
The match finished 1-1 as the spoils were shared in SE16, in what was a massive game for two sides both chasing promotion to the Premier League.
Fisk added: ‘’It was a play-off six pointer, so the atmosphere was really buzzing and exciting. All the fans were really welcoming, and the 16 St Christopher volunteers who were undertaking bucket collections around the grounds heard lots of lovely feedback about the ways the hospice had supported people they know.’’