Paul Ince calls for more men to support England in a way that really matters – by giving blood

As the nation gears up to support the England football team in the World Cup, legendary ex-England footballer Paul Ince joins NHS Blood and Transplant to highlight the need for 25,000 new male blood donors.

12 June 2018

Paul Ince with a head injury during the 1997 World CupPaul Ince once heroically saved England’s World Cup hopes by bleeding for the nation and now is calling for more men to step forward and be heroes off the pitch, by donating blood to help save lives.

England’s former football captain is supporting NHS Blood and Transplant and is urging male football fans to register as blood donors to aid the country in a way that really matters this World Cup. Crucially, two thirds of all new donors are women, but there is a specific need for 25,000 new male registrants as men’s blood is particularly useful to make plasma and platelets used to stop bleeding after injury or surgery.

The “Guv’nor” triumphantly led England to qualify for the 1997 World Cup. The memorable match against Italy saw Paul Ince gallantly playing more than half of the game with his head bandaged and shirt bloodied following an injury on the pitch. His passion rallied the English troops to victory, earning him man-of-the-match, but also notable respect as England’s devoted team captain, proving he would stop at nothing for his beloved nation.

Paul says: “That game was so important and despite needing stitches, I knew nothing would make me leave the pitch, I was willing to do anything I could for my country and now I’m asking people to do the same.

“Each donation can save or improve the lives of up to three seriously ill people. It can’t be overemphasised how important each new donor is, where over 6,000 blood donations are required daily to keep the nation pumping. Therefore, please support your country in a way that can make you the heroes off the pitch this World Cup. I bled for the team, now it is your turn.”

Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant says: “With 26 million men[1] in England, and Paul Ince recreating his heroics for the country, we hope that 25,000 new male donors is a realistic goal.

“To meet all of our patient’s needs at all times, we need 700 new donors every day to follow the former England captain’s lead and bleed for their team. Our campaign is about saving lives and each donation is a precious and generous gift.

“There is a particular need for O negative and B negative donors as these are vulnerable blood groups that often run low on stocks at various times of the year, so any men who know they have one of these blood groups please do come forward to donate.”

The campaign hopes to build on the 160,000 men who came forward in the last year. 250,000 new blood donors are required each year to replace those who can no longer donate. Even loyal donors have to retire eventually and we always need new blood.

Please go to find out if you can donate, register as a donor and book an appointment at your local donor centre. Giving blood is simple and an hour of your time can help save up to three lives. If you can’t book an appointment straight away, please don’t worry, we need blood donors every day so please book an appointment in the future. Save a life. Give blood #Giveblood

There are a number of ways you can support the campaign:

  • If you are 17 or over, visit or call 0300 123 23 23 today to find out if you are eligible to donate, register as a blood donor and to book your appointment
  • Download our app by searching ‘NHSGiveBlood’ in the App store.  It’s available for Android, Windows and Apple Smartphone and tablet devices
  • Show your support for blood donation on social media during the tournament by posting about blood donation and encouraging friends, family and followers to register to give blood and #giveblood


For more information please contact: / 020 3128 8545



[1] United Kingdom census, 2011

About NHS Blood and Transplant:

  • NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. Its remit includes the provision of a reliable, efficient supply of blood and associated services to the NHS in England. It is also the organ donor organisation for the UK and is responsible for matching and allocating donated organs
  • Donors can search for sessions, change their contact details, book appointments and change/cancel their appointments in real time on
  • There are apps available for Android, Windows and Apple Smartphone and tablet devices which enable donors to search for sessions based on your location, book and manage appointments.
  • NHSBT’s donor line - 0300 123 23 23 -is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with all calls charged at the standard local rate, even from mobile phones
  • NHSBT collects 1.6 million units of blood each year from over 23,000 blood donation sessions in more than 3,000 venues
  • A unit of blood is measured as 470mls (or just under a pint)
  • There are four main blood groups – O, A, B and AB. A regular supply of all blood groups is vital – red cells last 35 days and platelets only 7days.
  • Maintaining a regular supply of group O Rh Negative is particularly important to respond to patient need.