Blues x Give Blood: Dave Stephens
As will be the case with all summer transfers, Blues marked the arrival of Charlie Devlin in the Second City by raising awareness of Give Blood.
The midfielder's arrival at the Club, on a season-long loan, was utilised to profile Bromsgrove Sporting’s Football Secretary, Dave Stephens.
63-year-old Dave, who describes himself as ‘Bromsgrove born and bred, has been donating blood but also platelets for over 22 years, including many trips to Birmingham’s Donation Centre. Platelets are gold-coloured cell fragments drawn from blood that last just seven days after they have been donated. They are particularly important in cancer treatments and for people who have lost a lot of blood – such as in an accident, transplant or other surgery. Platelet donation is a separate process from the regular procedure of giving blood, albeit no less important.
A passionate supporter of Bromsgrove Sporting since the 1960s, Dave explains why he began donating over two decades ago.
“It was because my father had a couple of operations where he’d had blood given to him from others and I realised, hang on a minute, I’ve got my own blood here that people would actually use too when someone else’s helped my Dad. That’s when I started donating and giving back.
“I like to think I’ve always been someone that likes to help people shall I say, so it seemed the obvious thing to do.”
Speaking to BCFC.com, Dave explained how far his platelets have reached around the United Kingdom since he began donating them.
“Honestly, I didn’t even know what platelets were to start with but when I was told of their significance, I decided I wanted to help, and the rest was history as they say.
“My platelets have been sent all over the country to help people in need. Ironically, just before we spoke, I had a text saying my latest donation had been sent to Northampton. But before that, my platelets and blood have been used in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Southampton just off the top of my head – so all over the place, which is a nice feeling.”
Dave is now fast-approaching 500 donations of both blood and platelets and has this advice for those considering becoming a donor for the first time.
“My advice, first and foremost, to anyone thinking of donating is just give it a go. It’s honestly not painful! It takes around an hour to do, you’ve still got your other hand to use your phone or read for example. They’ll even change the channel on all the tellies too!
“But the centre staff in Birmingham are extremely lovely. They bring you drinks and biscuits and it’s an enjoyable experience. Personally, it gives me a bit of time to think that perhaps there are a lot of other people in the world going through things that are much worse than this at this very moment.”