Leeds United birthday boy Patrick Bamford shows support for life-changing gifts in Organ Donation Week

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LEEDS UNITED striker Patrick Bamford took time out from his birthday to highlight the importance of committing to leave life-saving gifts in Organ Donation Week.

Bamford continued the club's stellar work in giving back to the community by spending nearly two hours with staff and patients at the city's St James's University Hospital on the morning of his 26th birthday.

CRUCIAL CAUSE: Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford with Leeds United Ladies footballer and also St James's' Hospital scrub nurse Olivia Smart, left, chat to liver transplant patient Alex Warden and Kirsty Saville, right - liver transplant coordinator. Picture by James Hardisty.

CRUCIAL CAUSE: Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford with Leeds United Ladies footballer and also St James's' Hospital scrub nurse Olivia Smart, left, chat to liver transplant patient Alex Warden and Kirsty Saville, right - liver transplant coordinator. Picture by James Hardisty.

Those in attendance included former Leeds United youngster Tyler Denton's mum and Batley-based nurse Diane whose own life was saved by a liver transplant.

Bamford admitted that becoming a donor was a subject he had first thought about as a youngster and the forward listened intently to staff and patients who received United memorabilia from the Whites star who was actually the one handing out the presents on his birthday.

The 26-year-old striker then prepared to dash across the city to attend Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa's latest training session but not before leaving a strong message on the importance of raising awareness to donate the most important gifts of all.

"When I was younger, I always said I will give my organs because we don't really use them. You don't use them when you pass away," said Bamford.

"When you think about it, it's actually quite a big decision to talk about whilst you are still alive, thinking someone is going to take or use what's mine.

"But then you hear about and see the people who need it and also the way it has changed people's lives who have had successful transplants and been fortunate enough to find a donor. Then you just see that is 100 per cent worth it.

"I think it's just about educating people more so they can learn about that because I am sure that if everyone knew or saw the good that it does they would probably be very keen to do it."

Bamford has enjoyed a strong start to his second season at Leeds with the £7m forward having already netted four goals for the side who sit third in the Championship table ahead of next Sunday's return to action at Barnsley following the September international break.

Bamford, though, insists there is much more to his role as Leeds United's main striker than just the football.

Bamford reasoned: "You are playing football and you start playing football just because you love the game and you like playing.

"But you forget sometimes that you are kind of an idol and a role model for people out there.

"What you do can obviously have a positive effect but what you do can also have a negative affect if you are doing the wrong things.

"When you get the chance to come out and do things like this, it's life saving stuff.

"To be able to raise awareness for this, it's crucial."