Celebrities line up behind Samaritans’ matchday message

Celebrity Burnley FC fan Alistair Campbell and former Claret Clarke Carlisle joined local businesses to promote Samaritans’ new free to call number at Burnley FC’s clash with Reading at Turf Moor on Saturday.

Players warmed up in bright green Samaritans t-shirts, while videos in the ground displayed the free national helpline number, 116 123, and hospitality guests in the 1882 Lounge were invited to learn more about Samaritans’ services and to bid for signed shirts and the match day ball.

Ian Hartley is Director of Samaritans’ Pendle, Burnley, Craven and Rossendale branch. “We’re grateful to all those who showed their support for Samaritans at Turf Moor on Saturday, and to the staff, players, fans and local businesses who, along with our dedicated volunteers, made the day such a success.  We want people to know that they can talk to us round the clock, every single day of the year, about anything that’s bothering them.“

Ardent Burnley supporter Alistair Campbell took to the microphone in the 1882 Lounge and to Twitter, where he’s known as @campbellclaret, to praise Samaritans’ work and congratulate the Club for hosting the day. Former Claret Clarke Carlisle nominated Burnley defender Tendayi  Darikwa as Man of the Match, for scoring his side’s only goal in their 1-2 defeat against Reading.  Darikwa then showed his support for Samaritans by signing his warm up t-shirt and donating it for auction.

Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland says raising awareness among football fans of the power of talking through your troubles is a perfect match for the charity. “More than 6000 people die by suicide every year in the UK.  Of those, nearly 80% are men and male suicide rates are now at their highest level since 2001. The excessive risk of suicide among middle-aged men is a big concern – for those aged 45-59 it’s at its highest rate for more than 30 years.  Sport is a great platform to reach both men and women, some of whom may be more at risk.”

Throughout the season, Samaritans will promote their free to call number on a ground board next to the pitch at Turf Moor and a special video made for the day, featuring players and Clarets manager Sean Dych, will echo the message on both Burnley FC’s Youtube channel and Samaritans’ website.

Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year, providing a safe place to talk for anyone who is struggling to cope, whoever you are and whatever life has done to you. Please call 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and calls will not appear on your phone bill), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.

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For more information about Burnley FC’s support for Samaritans, and a selection of photos from the day, please contact Samaritans’ Press Office on 020 8394 8300 or email press@samaritans.org

The video produced by Burnley FC to promote Samaritans’ free to call number can be viewed here:


Notes to Editors:


  • In 2014 Samaritans’ 21,000 volunteers responded to more than 5.3 million calls for help by phone, email, text, letter or face to face in one of its 201 branches in the UK and ROI.
  • Pendle, Burnley, Craven and Rossendale branch of Samaritans is based at 15 Market Square, Nelson, Lancashire BB9 7LP, tel  01282 694 929 (Local call charges apply)
  • If you would like to donate to Samaritans, please visit www.samaritans.org/support-us/donate-online and help us answer every call.