A Non League side in Bucks have teamed up with a cancer care unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital for the up-and-coming season.

Aylesbury United, who currently play their matches at the Meadow in Chesham, have announced that the Cancer Care and Haematology Fund (CC&HF), which was set up to support the work of the Cancer Care and Haematology Unit at the hospital, will be their charity partner for the forthcoming 2021/22 campaign.

The Ducks hope that the partnership will help raise both funds and awareness for the charity throughout the campaign, as the collaboration came about after Aylesbury United's most celebrated player, Cliff Hercules, suffered the loss of his wife, Jo, to cancer in 2020.

Bucks Free Press: The unit is in Aylesbuy (pictured in June 2011)The unit is in Aylesbuy (pictured in June 2011)

In 2018, while undergoing treatment, Jo ran the London Marathon to raise cash for the CC&HU.

Graham Read, Chair of Aylesbury United, said: “We are delighted to be able to support this excellent local charity in the coming season.

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“I'm sure that our officials, players and supporters will do what they can to ensure that the unit at Stoke Mandeville gets recognition for the vital work they do.

“Sadly most families are touched by cancer at some time, whether it's through their relatives or friends, so we must all be prepared to help ensure suitable care services are available for those who need treatment.”

Although part of Stoke Mandeville Hospital, the unit is a unique, stand-alone facility designed and purpose-built to provide a wide range of outpatient and day-case treatments for patients with cancer, including blood cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

Patients with non-malignant blood problems such as clotting and bleeding disorders, various forms of anaemia, immune problems and haemoglobinopathies, are also investigated and cared for in the CC&HU.

Cliff Hercules, said: "Jo received regular treatment for three years at the Cancer Care and Haematology Unit before she passed, so the charity has a special place in my heart."
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Dr Ann Watson, Chair of the CC&HF, commented: “We are looking forward to meeting players and supporters and telling you about the wonderful work that goes on in the hospital to help cancer and haematology patients.

Bucks Free Press: Aylesbury groundshare with Chesham United at the Meadow (pictured in September 2016)Aylesbury groundshare with Chesham United at the Meadow (pictured in September 2016)

“Jo is remembered with affection by many of the staff of the CCHU which brings something very special and personal to this collaboration.

“The timing of your offer is very important to us as we come out of this difficult year.

“The work of the Cancer and Haematology services has continued throughout but contact with the outside world, including the charity, has had to be restricted.

"We look forward to getting out and about again, spreading the word and raising some money to support that work.

“And there is no better way than through sport.”

For more information, visit www.aylesburyunitedfc.co.uk.