Empty football stadium seats ask ‘Where’s My Mate?’ in stunt by Movember
The men’s health charity has partnered with Rotherham United and Darlington F.C to turn empty season ticket seats into the message ‘Where’s my mate?’
The stunt forms part of the charity's 'Sport the Signs' campaign
The stunt forms part of the charity’s ‘Sport the Signs’ campaign, which aims to educate men on the early signs of mental health problems – such as uncharacteristically missing an important match.
The charity has made the move to heighten awareness around male mental wellbeing on World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10,) after its research revealed that two-thirds (65%) of men in the UK would keep it to themselves if they were struggling despite 48% saying speaking to a loved one helped with their mental health.
The chosen clubs are located in the two areas with the highest male suicide rates in the UK (North East and Yorkshire). The North East is also the region where support of local football teams is the highest in the UK, while over a third (34%) of Yorkshire residents are also supporters of their local or hometown team.
Howard Webb is a former Premier League and Fifa referee, representative at Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOL) and Rotherham local is also part of the campaign. He said: “One of the reasons we all love the game that is football is the sense of camaraderie and community it offers – whether that’s supporting a team from home or coming along and watching alongside your mates. People are often surprised when they realize that the people they see the most are those who sit or stand around them at a football game. Together with Movember we want to encourage people to reach out to those around them to help prevent them from reaching crisis point.”
Dr Zac Seidler, global director of men’s health research at Movember added: “We believe that every football fan holds the potential to make a difference in someone's life. With our 'Sport the Signs' campaign, we're turning Rotherham United and Darlington F.C.’s stadiums into platforms of hope for World Suicide Prevention Day. Through ‘filling’ these empty seats with such a poignant message, we want to remind people that noticing the signs, reaching out and supporting one another can truly save lives.”