Garry Nelson played professional football in the Football League for 18 years after leaving school. His clubs included Southend United, Swindon Town, Plymouth Argyle, Brighton & Hove Albion, Charlton Athletic and Torquay United, the latter of which he was player/coach.
The 50 year-old, who has also written two best-selling books on the sport, first became aware of the free care that local hospices provide when his mum, Elsie, was cared for by Fair Havens Hospice in Southend in 2005. She died on Christmas Day, just six weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.
Garry said: "People often have a lack of awareness about what goes on inside a hospice and why they are there. Hospices help seriously ill people to live in comfort and peace until they die. Of course you are facing a heartbreaking situation, because you know there's no miracle cure, but my family were able to experience hope and positivity, and that's all been down to Fair Havens Hospice."
"I am delighted that The Football League is supporting hospice care this season, because I know from experience how much comfort hospices can bring to people who are living with a life-limiting illness. I urge fans to get involved in any way they can, to help hospices continue their vital work."