Ospreys Launch Charity Shirt In Aid Of

The Ospreys today took the wraps off their new limited edition charity shirt, which it is anticipated will raise up to £15,000 for leading cancer care charity Macmillan Cancer Support.

Three of the Ospreys biggest names, Mike Phillips, Ian Gough and Huw Bennett modelled the new lilac and black Kooga manufactured jersey at the official launch, ahead of it going on sale this Friday (12th October). Bosses at the region expect as many as 5,000 shirts to be sold, with a donation of £3 per shirt going to Macmillan.

The shirt will be worn as a one-off in the Magners League fixture against Munster on Sunday 14th October at the Liberty Stadium (KO 4.10pm). The Ospreys opted to support Macmillan in recognition of the longstanding relationship between npower renewables, the Ospreys primary shirt sponsor, and the charity.

Macmillan is the UK"€™s leading cancer care charity "€" it improves the lives of people affected by cancer across the UK by providing practical, medical, emotional and financial support. For example, Macmillan provides financial grants and benefits advice to help people cope with the extra costs that a cancer diagnosis can bring, as well as providing advice and information outlets such as a fully interactive website, CancerLine, YouthLine, 23 information and support centres, and two Mobile Macmillan Cancer Information Centres. In addition, Macmillan funds over 200 cancer self help and support groups, and also campaigns to improve cancer care for people affected by cancer, their friends and families.

Roger Blyth, Managing Director, Ospreys, said:

"€œRugby has something of a macho image, and the players taking to the pitch at the Liberty Stadium in such a fetching shade of lilac will certainly raise some eyebrows, but Macmillan Cancer Support is a great charity and the lads are all delighted to be able to help. Cancer remains such a big problem and one in three of us, at sometime in our life, will be diagnosed with cancer, and Macmillan will be there to support us and our friends and family.

"€œOur regular shirt is the second biggest selling in the northern hemisphere domestic game so we felt that the best way for us to help was to produce a one-off shirt that would be sure to generate a lot of attention. The money raised via the sale of the charity shirts will help Macmillan to improve the lives of people affected by cancer, and we hope that the publicity generated by the new shirt will raise awareness of Macmillan and their wide range of services. The work they carry out provides tremendous support for cancer sufferers and their families throughout the region, and across the UK, and we hope that our supporters will provide their full support to this initiative."€

Diana Edmunds, Macmillan Cancer Support, commented:

"€œWe are delighted that the Ospreys have offered their backing to MacMillan Cancer Support via this one-off charity shirt, and would like to thank everyone at the region as well as the Ospreys fans. Through their efforts, Macmillan will be able to help more people and really improve the lives of people affected by cancer.

"€œMacmillan relies on such efforts for 99% of our income, so it is a big effort to raise the income needed to continue the fantastic work. We want to see as many Ospreys fans as possible wearing the Ospreys charity shirt at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday 14th October in support of MacMillan Cancer Support."€

Mark Fleming, for npower renewables, added:

"€œnpower renewables and its sister company npower have supported Macmillan as our charity partner for four years. Throughout that time, our staff have embraced the charity wholeheartedly and arranged a great many fundraising events from charity bike rides at the Afan Forest Park, South Wales, to company-wide participation in Macmillan"€™s recent World"€™s Biggest Coffee Morning.

"We're delighted the partnership has proved a great success for MacMillan, raising almost £2million over the last four years and are therefore delighted that our rugby partners the Ospreys have chosen Macmillan as the charity to support through the sales of the new shirt."

Ospreys and Wales star Mike Phillips said:

"€œMacMillan Cancer Support does fantastic work in the community day in, day out and it is important that they receive the funding to continue to help improve the lives of people affected by cancer. Wearing the Ospreys charity shirt is a great way to show your support. Some people will say that it"€™s not a manly thing to wear a lilac rugby shirt, and everyone in the dressing room would agree with that sentiment; it"€™s not a manly thing, it"€™s a caring thing, and we are delighted to be able to show that we care for people affected by cancer."€

The Ospreys charity shirt will be available to buy from the Ospreys Superstore at the Liberty Stadium, and online at http://www.ospreysrugby.com/ from 10.00am on Friday morning (October 12th), as well as at a range of independent sports outlets across the region.  Supporters are advised that the usual Club Membership discount on merchandise purchases at the Ospreys Superstore does not apply when purchasing the Ospreys charity shirt.