Cure Leukaemia Crowns 2023 Christmas Award Winners
We celebrated the incredible achievements of the CL Family throughout 2023
The charity has successfully run their flagship football tournament for the past five years – raising over £100,000 in the process – and March will see the first female-only edition of the popular competition. Players are offered the chance to live like a Lioness for the day from getting changed in the official England changing rooms to playing in matches on the FIFA-approved 3G pitches.
The event is being held as part of Cure Leukaemia’s Finish-It! campaign which sees the charity calling upon the football community to unite in the fight against blood cancer. The campaign will help launch a new UK-wide paediatric clinical trials programme that will deliver new innovative treatments to improve outcomes for children with blood cancer.
Professional services brand Price Waterhouse Coopers, national car retailer InchCapeUK, supermarket chain Booths and The Mirror will all be dusting off their boots to play in the tournament.
Hosted on the day by BBC Sport and BT Sport presenter Kenzie Benali and Sky Sports Johnny Phillips, each team will be coupled with a female football legend on the day as they look to lift the first ever Female Copa Del Cure Leukaemia trophy.
Former England international, and now Sky Sports pundit, Sue Smith is signed up to play in the tournament and can’t wait for the landmark tournament.
“How exciting! The girls winning the Euros last Summer has inspired so many people – not just girls, but the boys as well! To have an all-women’s tournament off the back of last year’s success is amazing! We all love a bit of competition and we know the benefits of what football can bring.”
“There have been so many people affected by blood cancer in the football world and that is what football does best – they come together. With the recent loss of the Tottenham Hotspur Fitness Coach Gian Piero Ventrone, you could see how much it affected Antonio Conte, Harry Kane and the backroom staff. Everybody wants to help and whether that is entering one of Cure Leukaemia’s fabulous football tournaments or supporting financially, you can see the great work that the charity are doing.”
International accountancy firm BDO Digital will also be taking part on the day and Partner at the company and FA Women’s National League Chair Sandi Dosanjh can’t wait for the introduction of a female-only tournament in 2023.
“It is absolutely super that Cure Leukaemia have now announced a female-only tournament for 2023. Off the back of the Summer and the success that we have had, there is clearly an interest there. Female players just need a little extra encouragement so having a female-only competition will get so much interest.”
“I have played in two previous Copa Del CL’s and I was always nervous building up to the day, but seeing teams also bringing along female players, there is almost a sense of camaraderie when you see another female, even if she is on the other team.”
“I know so many female players that work in the corporate world that don’t have the opportunity to play in a tournament like this at St George’s Park against other female players and ex-pros. It’s great that we now that have this platform to capitalise on that.”
Mat Kendrick, Deputy Managing Editor for Sport at The Mirror’s parent company, Reach, said:
“The Mirror is delighted to be the headline sponsor for the inaugural Copa Del Cure Leukaemia tournament. We have recently assembled a new Women’s Football reporting team providing coverage for The Mirror and our Reach regional titles and this agreement is another example of our commitment to promoting the women’s game. Reach has a pre-existing relationship supporting the vital work Cure Leukaemia does and we are proud to put our name to such an exciting event.”
Cure Leukaemia Chief Executive James McLaughlin commented:
“The 2022 tournament of our Copa Del Cure Leukaemia saw our highest number of female players taking part so we are proud to be able to launch our first Copa del Cure Leukaemia football tournament designed specifically for female footballers in 2023. The growing success of female sport in the UK has been remarkable.”
“The football community has been rocked by blood cancer a number of times over the years and we can’t thank all of the organisations enough who have booked to take part, and are supporting the ongoing fight against blood cancer.”
All the proceeds from the Copa Del Cure Leukaemia are donated to Cure Leukaemia, and the ongoing battle to eradicate all forms of blood cancer, a disease which has affected many players and their families within football in recent years.