SUNDERLAND goalkeeper Anthony Patterson has been announced as as ambassador for the North-East’s leading suicide prevention and bereavement support charity.

If U Care Share Foundation (IUCSF), a charity founded 19 years ago by the family of Daniel O’Hare, who unexpectedly took his own life, have added Patterson to its current crop of ambassadors which includes Gateshead keeper James Montgomery - a distant relation of Sunderland's legendary keeper Jimmy Montgomery - Newcastle United Women captain Amber-Keegan Stobbs, Olympic athletes Lachlan Moorhead and Ryan Owens and X Factor winner Joe McEldery. 

Speaking after his ambassadorial role was confirmed, Patterson, who has made 111 first-team appearances for Sunderland and has an England Under-21 cap to his name, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to announce that I’m now an ambassador for If U Care Share Foundation. 

“I’ve known about the charity, and the amazing work they do, for a number of years now, after working with them during my time at the Academy of Light.

“As a pro athlete, and a lad from the North-East, I’m well aware of the importance of emotional wellbeing and the significance of suicide prevention in our local communities.

“I look forward to working closely with such an incredible charity over the coming years.” 

On the arrival of the charity’s newest ambassador, If U Care Share’s founder and COO, Matthew Smith, said: “We are delighted to have Anthony supporting the charity.

“He has already worked with the charity previously, sharing his experiences of academy football and playing at an elite level from such a young age.

“Since our formation, we have always tried to utilise the power of football to reach those who are quite often the most difficult to.

“With that in mind we are really looking forward to what we can do alongside Anthony in the future.”

Patterson's new role as an ambassador follows years of a close association between Sunderland Football Club and the If U Care Share foundation since its formation. 


The charity first sold fundraising wristbands at the Stadium of Light, as well as neighbours Newcastle United, and has since regularly hosted mental health and suicide prevention workshops for academy players of all ages - including Patterson and a number of his team-mates. 

The club has also been an active supporter of the charity’s annual Inside Out day campaign, with players wearing the t-shirt, carrying the message to ‘get what’s inside, out’ in match day warm-ups to promote World Suicide Prevention Day.

The latest announcement comes just weeks after If U Care Share co-founder Matthew Smith unveiled a gruelling fundraising challenge to run to every 2024-25 Premier League stadium.

Born out of the charity’s love for football and long-term partnerships with the Premier League, League Football Education, and the Women’s Super League, Smith's 800-plus mile challenge will play a pivotal role in raising funds for the charity’s year-long campaign, Mission 135. 

Last year, the World Health Organisation announced figures from the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) which show that, on average, 135 people, including family, friends and work colleagues, are impacted when one person dies by suicide.