Alzheimer’s Society drops ‘Forgotten Third’ campaign at England vs Australia match

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The Alzheimer’s Society launched a powerful ‘Forgotten Third’ activation during this week’s England vs Australia women’s football match, created by agency New Commercial Arts.

During Tuesday’s match, 1 in 3 players played without the names on their shirts, in order to highlight the shocking statistic that 1 in 3 people born today will develop dementia in their lifetime – that’s 1 in 3 who may forget the name of their favourite player or most treasured football memory – unthinkable for most fans.

Alzheimer’s Society

The stunt builds on the platform Alzheimer’s Society, alongside agency partner New Commercial Arts and The FA, launched last year, ‘Football should be unforgettable’.

The platform aims to raise awareness among football fans and players of the impact of dementia, highlight the vital work the charity is doing to help to end the devastation dementia causes and encourage donations.

Different players wore the nameless shirts after half-time, to draw attention to the confusion and memory loss often experienced by those living with dementia.

The England squad have donated these custom shirts to auction, raising funds towards Alzheimer’s Society’s life-changing support, which provides help and hope to thousands.

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Alzheimer’s billboard: Fan adding a memory to mural.

Alzheimer’s Society International featuring England v Australia took place on 11 April at Brentford G-tech Community Stadium.

Ian Heartfield, Founder & CCO, New Commercial Arts, said: “By removing the player’s name from every third shirt, we’re highlighting the new and devastating fact that 1 in 3 of us will develop dementia, the main symptom of which is memory loss.

“It’s a powerful build on last year’s successful ‘Nameless Shirts’ idea.”

Kate Lee, CEO, Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to everyone involved for making today truly unforgettable. Right now, dementia is devastating lives and our services are proving to be a lifeline, helping people through some of the hardest and most frightening times.

“With The FA’s backing, we can reach more people than ever before, and we can reach them sooner.”

And Sarina Wiegman, England’s head coach, said: “Tonight was a chance for both sets of players to come together in recognition of the many people living with dementia and their families and friends who help them.

“I’m very proud to see our players again continue to use their platform to show support for important causes – I hope it inspires fans to donate and support Alzheimer’s Society’s important work.

The fixture also saw sports correspondent Carrie Brown, whose parents are living with dementia, reveal a huge mural featuring unforgettable football memories from the England Women’s team.

The inspiring installation, designed by MurWalls, allowed fans to add their own memories to the wall, encouraging conversation and raising awareness of the fact that although great football should be unforgettable, for many people with dementia, this isn’t often the case.

Player Carrie Brown added: “I’m honoured to be part of this very special match. Both of my parents are living with dementia – I distinctly remember the priceless smile on my mum’s face at the Women’s Euros final last Summer.

“Dad has one word he uses, and it’s “wonderful”; on that day, he repeated it constantly.

“Alzheimer’s Society was so helpful for us when my dad was first diagnosed, so it’s been a real pleasure to help support the charity today and raise money towards its support services, so no-one must face dementia alone.”

The FA has now announced its partnership with Alzheimer’s Society will be extended until July 2024.

They will work together to help change the landscape of dementia diagnosis, by funding crucial research and working to make sure that an early diagnosis is accessible to all.