Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs features in a new film showcasing The Supporters Club, BT Sport’s initiative that aims to build a better world through sport.
Supporters United, which premieres on Thursday August 7, at 8.30pm on BT Sport 1, focuses on how the support of the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, CLIC Sargent, is helping cancer patients in Scotland deal with cancer and get the most out of their lives. It includes the moving stories of two Glaswegian teenagers – Caillan and Nicole – who have benefited from charitable support in their own battles against the disease.
The film also features former Celtic, Everton and Bolton Wanderers defender and current Hibernian manager Stubbs, who drew on the support of the sporting community – led by his club at the time, Celtic –when battling two bouts of testicular cancer. In the documentary, Stubbs revisits Glasgow, recounts his own backstory, and, meets some of the young adults who have benefited from the work of CLIC Sargent.
Supporters United also touches on Celtic FC’s own particular history with cancer and how sport can be a force for good in the toughest circumstances, with former players Stilian Petrov, Stubbs and John Hartson all having been affected by cancer. In the film, Celtic FC chief executive Peter Lawwell says: “There’s probably not many in the world that have been unaffected by cancer but this football club has been severely affected over the years. Hopefully what we do here at Celtic is look after our people and hopefully the little bits we can do helps them through that.”
The Supporters Club recently announced a major grant to CLIC Sargent which will enable it to employ a young people’s community worker to support around 100 young people with cancer, and to provide a substantial funding pot for young people with cancer to access sports opportunities.
Alan Stubbs said: “CLIC Sargent and sport play a huge role in helping children and young people deal with and move on from cancer. When I was going through my cancer battles Celtic were my CLIC Sargent. Some clubs are just football clubs, some clubs are more than that. Celtic comes into “more than that”. It’s not just a football club. It really was a privilege for me to see the work of CLIC Sargent and to meet the young people benefiting from that. Money raised by BT Sport viewers through The Supporters Club helps to support charities like CLIC Sargent and that’s why I was so happy to be involved.”
One of the former cancer patients who Stubbs meets in the film is Caillan who was first diagnosed with leukaemia when he was 15. Talking in the documentary Caillan says: “When I first heard about CLIC Sargent it got my confidence back up and got me back in school and studying for my exams. They got me out and enjoying myself, even though I was going through treatment.”
Tracy, a Young People’s Community Worker from CLIC Sargent in Scotland, explains in the film: “The Supporters Club funding will make a huge difference because sport makes them (young cancer patients) feel good about themselves. It helps them socialise, build up their stamina and motivation.”
Over the past year, BT Sport and The Supporters Club has produced five TV documentaries to showcase its work – most recently Gilberto Silva’s Road to Rio where the former Arsenal star visited the Street Child World Cup in Rio to highlight three teams sent by charities backed by The Supporters Club.
The Supporters Club recently revealed that £2.5 million has been raised from BT Sport customers and BT in its first year. This has so far been used to fund 18 sport-inspired community projects – ten in the UK and eight overseas, with over 82,000 people now signed up to the initiative.
To donate, BT Sport customers can simply add £1, £3 or £5 to their monthly bill.*