Hammers stars support Anthony Nolan Trust

West Ham United players are throwing their weight behind a campaign to inspire young men to register as bone marrow donors.

Bobby Zamora, Anton Ferdinand and Hayden Mullins all took time out after training at Chadwell Heath yesterday to join the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register and are hoping to persuade potential donors to follow their lead.

"I strongly encourage any person eligible to join the Anthony Nolan register, as every individual is a potential lifesaver," said Zamora

"There are not enough men and not enough people from ethnic minorities on the register, which is quite worrying as any one of us or members of our family could need the help of organizations like the Anthony Nolan Trust at any time, so we hope that, by showing our support, we can encourage more people to join the register."

Anton Ferdinand added: "When I heard the Anthony Nolan Trust were holding a registration session at West Ham I was more than happy to pledge my support and join their bone marrow register. The more people on the Anthony Nolan register, the more lives are saved."

The charity says it urgently needs more young male donors because patients who are given cells by male donors experience fewer serious complications after the transplant.

Keiton Knight, aged seven, urgently needs a bone marrow transplant to save his life. Keiton is one of 7,000 patients throughout the world who are currently waiting to receive a bone marrow transplant. He is of mixed-race decent like the West Ham players pledging their support and has found there is a lack of mixed-race donors on the register who could be a suitable match.

Since 1974, the Anthony Nolan Trust has saved the lives of more than 5,800 people who have not been able to find a bone marrow match from a relative. However, more individuals aged between 18-40 are urgently needed to register to help the thousands of adults and children like Keiton, who are currently waiting to receive a transplant.

Hayden Mullins commented: "Saving a life must be an incredible feeling. That's what you could achieve if you join The Anthony Nolan Trust bone marrow register. Young men, from all ethnic backgrounds, should sign up and help save the life of a child or adult with leukaemia."

Alex Frazier, Press Officer for the Anthony Nolan Trust, said: "It would be wonderful if everyone aged 18-40 years old considered registering as a bone marrow volunteer. It's an extremely positive act and you may be the one chance of life for a patient in need. Giving up just half an hour of your time to join our register could really mean the difference between life and death."

The process of joining a bone marrow register includes giving a small sample of blood - about a teaspoonful - and filling in a registration form. No further tests are required until Anthony Nolan identifies a potential match from their register for a patient in need of a transplant. The more men that join the register the more lives Anthony Nolan can save.

For more information on the Trust and its work, visit: www.anthonynolan.org.uk

Go to WHUTV now to view our exclusive video feature on the involvement of West Ham United players with The Anthony Nolan Trust.