Former Claret’s life-saving Match of the Day

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200
VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

A former Burnley footballer is hoping for the best assist of his life when he makes a stem cell donation to potentially save a leukaemia sufferer.

Firefighter Wayne Dowell, who played as a left back at Turf Moor between 1994 and 1996, signed up to donate stem cells for a colleague’s wife six years ago.

I’m not looking forward to the procedures but it’s a fantastic feeling to know it could save a life.

Former Claret Wayne Dowell

Keeping his details on record, the Anthony Nolan Trust recently called Wayne and asked if he would undergo tests to confirm he is a match for a new patient.

He said: “A number of us at Burnley Fire Station signed up six years ago to help a colleague, whose wife sadly died later from leukaemia.

“Completely out of the blue, I received a phone call recently saying I might be a possible match and would I like to travel to London for tests.

“I had some medicals in London which found that I’m a 100% match. I’m a bit apprehensive about going through the actual procedure but also excited because it could mean saving someone’s life.”

Wayne will now have four consecutive injections at his home in Fence which will give him an overdose of stem cells.

He will then travel to University College Hospital in London for two procedures, one of which will involve taking blood from his arms, and the other will see surgeons drilling into his pelvis.

Wayne added: “I’m not looking forward to the procedures but it’s a fantastic feeling to know it could save a life.

“The hospital don’t reveal who will receive the donation, but it could be anyone in the world.”

Wayne said his wife Catherine, and their children Poppy and Ollie, are very proud of him.

The Anthony Nolan Trust match individuals willing to donate their blood stem cells or bone marrow to people with blood cancer and blood disorders who desperately need lifesaving transplants. For more information visit www.anthonynolan.org.