In collaboration with Alzheimer’s Society, the England men’s football team will play without names on their shirts during the second half of the fixture against Belgium.

As part of an official charity partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society, names will disappear from the players’ shirts when they return to the pitch in the second half, aiming to highlight how people with dementia lose precious memories, even the names of their favourite football players.

Kate Lee, Alzheimer’s Society CEO, commented: “We hope this striking gesture with the players’ shirts will once again get fans across the country talking, and thinking about the signs and symptoms of dementia.”

Despite dementia being the leading cause of death in the UK, one in three individuals living with dementia in England and Wales remain undiagnosed. This is due to there being a misconception that dementia is simply a natural part of ageing, leading many to be uncertain about the symptoms and hesitant to consult their GP.

Therefore, the initiative aligns with this year’s dedicated international aim to increase awareness of dementia symptoms, hoping to encourage fans to seek a diagnosis if they spot any signs in themselves or relatives.

Additionally, the custom shirts being worn against Belgium tomorrow (26 March) will be donated by the England squad and auctioned to raise funds to support Alzheimer’s Society research into early diagnosis.

In domestic football, Blackburn Rovers recently used a £10,000 grant to support its initiative ‘Remember The Rovers’, which looks to provide a social lifeline to those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

“By using football to shine a spotlight and increase awareness of dementia symptoms, we hope to not only encourage fans to donate towards our early diagnosis research, but also to support their loved ones just as much as they support their football team,” Lee added.

“This means taking crucial first steps in seeking a diagnosis if they suspect someone they care about may be affected. A diagnosis can be daunting but it’s better to know.”

The FA and Alzheimer’s Society are encouraging supporters to download Alzheimer’s Society’s symptoms checklist at, to gain further information and donate to help fund research into early diagnosis.

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