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READ | Blades follow suit in supporting those affected by memory-related illnesses with launch of Memory Lane Club

23 January 2023

Club News

READ | Blades follow suit in supporting those affected by memory-related illnesses with launch of Memory Lane Club

23 January 2023

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Rotherham United have been delighted to see our near-neighbours Sheffield United following our lead in supporting ex-players, staff and supporters who have encountered or been affected by memory-related illnesses with the formation of their very own ‘Memory Club’.

The Millers have been flying the flag to raise awareness of the need for football to support those individuals and their families since the formation of the Millers Memory Club – a group set up as one of the first of its kind and championed by our Honorary Life President John Breckin.

Breck and a raft of former players including Richard Finney, Mick Leng and Paul Stancliffe - to name just a few - have been the driving force behind the meetings at AESSEAL New York Stadium which have provided so many with an understanding environment and a place where those suffering may just be able to trigger the memories of tales from years gone by.

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The meetings regularly have old match footage on the televisions, whilst also giving those attending the chance to flick through matchday programmes and books from yesteryear.

Having attended a number of Rotherham United’s sessions, Blades legend Tony Currie went back to Bramall Lane and relayed his desire to establish a group for Sheffield United, which he has now successfully done.

The ‘Memory Lane Club’ held its inaugural meeting last week and saw hundreds of guests attend, with a number of speakers also addressing the audience.

One of those was Dawn Astle, the daughter of West Brom and England striker Jeff Astle, who is a long-time campaigner of the need to support those who have suffered neurological illnesses.

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Everyone at Rotherham United would like to congratulate Tony and our colleagues at Sheffield United on the formation of the Memory Lane Club. It makes us incredibly proud to see the football world coming together to support past players, staff and our supporters in this way.

Speaking having attended the group’s first ever meeting at Bramall Lane having been invited along as a guest, John Breckin said:

“The hope when we first set up the group was to get people in football to sit up and take note of what we were doing in the space, so to see our friends over at Sheffield United doing just that is amazing and a huge step forwards."

John Breckin, Honorary Life President and founder of the Millers Memory Club

“TC has been coming to the Millers Memory Club for a few months now and has been leaning on me for some advice and support as to how he would go about getting one up and running back over at Sheffield United.

“We are very fortunate here at Rotherham United that we have a club that is incredibly supportive and with the help of the Community Sports Trust, a few ex-players and some amazing volunteers, what we have managed to achieve is something that we should all be justly proud of.

“The Memory Club here at Rotherham United has grown and grown and whilst it is good that we are supporting more and more people with each month that passes, it also highlights just how many people out there need support.

“Big Dave Watson, who has suffered with a neurological illness over the last few years, has been a regular at our meetings along with his wife, Penny, and she speaks with a great education on the topic.

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“It is clear that a support network needs to be put in place for people and working closely with Paul Raven and his team from the PFA and with groups like ours and Sheffield United’s getting going, I think we are taking great strides in the right direction.”

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