Everton boss Roberto Martinez and his players have put traditional footballing rivalries to one side to support a fundraising campaign launched by an inspirational cancer sufferer from Manchester.
Manchester City fan Callum Ballantine is well-known to Everton’s staff after spending time on a work placement at Goodison Park in the summer of 2013.
Now 19, Callum was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, in February this year. Since that diagnosis – and whilst undergoing treatment at the Christie Hospital in Manchester – he has been working hard with best friend Samir Kamani on a charity fashion range to support the Teenage Cancer Trust.
The t-shirt range is entitled ‘Made From Manchester’ and celebrates everything Callum loves about his home city and his favourite club.
But that hasn’t stopped his friends at Goodison supporting the charitable cause. Roberto Martinez, Gareth Barry, Leighton Baines, John Stones and Phil Jagielka have all recorded special video messages for Callum wearing the t-shirts.
The social media campaign launched today by the Blues contingent is to support sales of the t-shirts and generate wider awareness for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Roberto Martinez, the Everton manager, said: “Callum is a friend of the club and the fundraising is for a great cause. The t-shirts are very much focussed on Manchester – but I’m sure our fans will understand what a great cause this is and how important it is to support a charity like the Teenage Cancer Trust. Callum is an inspiration, and we’re delighted to be able to help.”
The t-shirts are available to order online, with all profits made from the £10 mens and ladies t-shirts donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Callum, from Manchester, explains: “I am currently being treated at the Christie hospital. During my time there me and Samir, who comes to visit all the time, have been able to see the work that the Teenage Cancer Trust are able to offer to cancer patients.
“I was blessed to be able to spend time on a ward with people my own age and being able to partake in activities that normal teenagers would want to do whilst fulfilling their adolescent lifestyles.
“Seeing first-hand the care offered by people involved with the Teenage Cancer Trust made myself and Samir want to help support the charity and with our love of fashion and style we created Made From Manchester to do just that.”
Gareth Barry, one of Callum’s favourite players from his time at the Etihad prior to his move to Goodison, said: “Callum may be a Manchester boy – but we’re backing his campaign all the way. I’ve got some great memories of Manchester. I’m wearing a nicer shade of blue nowadays – but I’m honoured to be helping support this fundraising range.”
Phil Jagielka, the Everton skipper, added: “Like Callum, I’m from the other end of the East Lancs road. We know Callum from his time at the Club and we’re backing his campaign to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.”
To order one of Callum’s ‘Made From Manchester’ range of t-shirts and support the charity, visit: http://www.