Playing fields turned purple for pancreatic cancer

Cancer support: Sutherland Shire players Ben,Kirra and Lilly from Gwawley Bay FC already play in purple so changing socks was an easy job. Picture: John Veage

Cancer support: Sutherland Shire players Ben,Kirra and Lilly from Gwawley Bay FC already play in purple so changing socks was an easy job. Picture: John Veage

During September, football players from clubs and codes across the country will be pulling on their purple socks to help raise awareness for a disease that is becoming the third most common cancer killer in Australia this year.

The #PlayinPurple campaign is in its sixth year and continues to grow with over 3500 players wearing purple socks to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer last year.

In 2019 the campaign saw wonderful support from Football NSW and high-profile associations like Sutherland Shire Football who is one of the biggest contributors with several participating clubs.

Sutherland Shire Football Association General Manager Jeff Stewart said their association would again support the campaign this year.

"Pancreatic cancer is on the rise and SSFA is proud to support this important awareness-raising initiative again in 2020. It is great to see local football fields awash with purple socks, and it's a testament to the spirit shown by our association that we fielded the greatest number of participating clubs nationally during last year's campaign. It would be great to see us emulate that again."

Isabella Di Manno started the campaign in 2015 after her fiancee's mother died. Her family had always been very involved in football, and Isabella saw this as the perfect way to raise critical funds into research, improving diagnosis and treatment.

Pancreatic cancer is projected to claim more lives than breast and prostate cancer, and around 80 per cent of patients diagnosed will die within 12 months.

The disease has the lowest survival rates of all main cancer types, yet pancreatic cancer trails behind other cancers when it comes to funding for research, receiving less than eight per cent of the funding available.

Avner Foundation CEO, Michelle Stewart said they are excited to see playing fields Australia-wide turned purple for pancreatic cancer, and awareness is exactly what was needed to help shine a light on this disease.

The #PlayinPurple 2020 campaign has also been endorsed by A-League clubs Sydney FC and Perth Glory.

Play in Purple will run in the first few weeks of September, with clubs having the ability to select their weekend.