Eight players from Lancaster University Rugby Union took time out of their training and studies to save lives by donating blood at Lancaster Donor Centre.
Winger Rory Bishop, 20, from Lancaster, also the team treasurer, organised the visit. He was motivated to donate by his grandad who donated 75 times before he passed away.
Rory said: “Having the ability to help those in need is a great honour and this is why I give blood.
“One blood donation can change up to three peoples’ lives forever. This is such an amazing feeling that I relish every donation and urge people to experience this.”
Club captain, Sam Cusworth, 20, donated for the first time and said: “My brother underwent a major hip operation and only then did the doctors find he had a rare blood type.
“He needed numerous transfusions. It made me aware of how important it is to give blood – I wish I’d donated sooner.”
NHS Blood and Transplant needs around 200,000 new donors every year to maintain the supply for life-saving blood donations.
Blood is used to treat critically ill patients, whether they have had cancer or other blood disorders, been in an accident, having surgery or after childbirth.
Richard Shortland, head of donor marketing operations for Lancaster, said: “We are delighted that players from Lancaster University Rugby Union sports team gave blood.
“We always need new people in Lancaster to start donating blood to ensure that stocks across the country are healthy now and in the future. We especially need new young donors, like the rugby players, because more of our donors are aged over 45.
“I hope that people will be inspired to donate with the knowledge that their donations save lives.”
In general, as long as you are fit and healthy, weigh more than 7 stone 12 lbs (50kg) and are aged between 17 and 66 (up to 70 if you have given blood before) you should be able to give blood. If you are over 70, you need to have given blood in the last two years to continue donating.
Lancaster Donor Centre is on the site of Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
To register as a new donor or book an appointment to donate go online at www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.
Search ‘NHSGiveBlood’ in the app store to find and book sessions.