Hollywood Hardman Vinnie Jones Bursts in on Team Talk… And He’s Got a Message

To encourage football fans to ‘talk more’ with one another, Three UK has enlisted former footballer turned Hollywood hardman, Vinnie Jones to deliver a rousing speech to fans up and down the country.

The #TalkMoreThanFootball campaign which launches today in collaboration with Chelsea F.C. and Samaritans, sees Vinnie take over the team talk to deliver a poignant message on mental health. The campaign video premieres at Stamford Bridge Stadium during tonight’s game against Manchester United, to over 40,000 fans.

In the video, current Chelsea players Cole Palmer, Nicolas Jackson, Robert Sanchez and Alfie Gilchrist look set to receive the ‘hair dryer treatment’ from the football legend. Instead, Vinnie candidly uses his own struggles to encourage them to reach out to others and ‘talk more’.

The content draws inspiration from a motivational team talk and urges football fans of all ages to prioritise conversations around well-being within their social and support networks.

Vinnie Jones said: “I grew up in an era when mental health wasn’t even a thing, yet it’s something I struggled with without realising. Now I want to empower men and women to talk about it. To those of us that love football; we need to use those connections we have made to talk about more than just football. If I can do it, then you can too.”

The campaign follows new research of 2,000 UK football fans commissioned by Three UK which found that over two-thirds (67%) of football fans have struggled with their mental health, whilst one-in-three have never spoken to anyone about it. What’s more, only a tiny fraction (6%) of football fans admit to talking about their mental wellbeing with people they watch or play sport with.

But the issue runs deeper than simply spotting when someone is struggling, it also stretches to taking the first steps or finding reasons to reach out. The research found that one in four (27%) fans said that seeing well-known people talk more regularly about mental health would help them do it too. A further two-thirds (65%) would like to know how to broach the subject and 62% would like a prompt to talk about it more regularly. Today’s #TalkMoreThanFootball ‘team talk’ serves as a poignant reminder to reach out to friends and loved ones and start that conversation.

Aislinn O’Connor, Marketing Director at Three UK & Ireland said: Today’s launch, in partnership with Chelsea F.C. and Samaritans, is a rallying team talk for the whole nation. Inspired by Vinnie, we want communities across the country – and beyond – to use their shared passions, like football, to open up about mental health. We want them to talk about how they are feeling, be empowered to reach out and use their networks to have meaningful conversations with one another. Whether that’s picking up the phone, sending a message or sharing Vinnie’s team talk, there has never been a better time to ‘talk more than football’.”

James Murray, Interim CEO of Chelsea Foundation said: “Passion and camaraderie are an essential part of football – whether playing professionally or supporting from the sidelines. But when it comes to emotional wellbeing, mental health has often seemed like a taboo subject in our industry. We are proud to work with Vinnie Jones, Three and Samaritans to help address this through an inspiring and passionate team talk. Everyone can play a part in helping to lift the social stigma by watching and sharing our #TalkMoreThanFootball campaign.”

Sonya Trivedy, Executive Director of External Engagement at Samaritans, said: “Samaritans answers a call for help every 10 seconds – that’s over 500 calls during a Chelsea match – and we know first hand how important it can be for people to share how they are feeling when they are struggling. However, many of us find it difficult to open up those conversations and this campaign is a great reminder that we all have the power to support others. We hope it encourages football fans, and the rest of the public, to check in and listen to how each other is really doing – it could be lifesaving.”     

Three UK, proud partners of Samaritans, the leading suicide prevention charity, is encouraging football fans to open up about their mental health through its sponsorship of Chelsea F.C. As part of the #TalkMoreThanFootball campaign, Three and Samaritans are teaming up to offer free virtual and in-person listening skills sessions for football fans across the country to learn how to have more supportive conversations with their friends, colleagues and team-mates. To find out more visit [insert website]. In the meantime, whatever you’re going through, Samaritans are here to listen 24/7. Call free on 116 123.

Three is encouraging football fans up and down the country to share Vinnie’s ‘team talk’, across their social and support networks. To find out more about #TalkMoreThanFootball and to watch Vinnie’s team talk in full go to Three’s social channels – @ThreeUK on Instagram, @ThreeUK on X, @ThreeUK on TikTok or Three UK on YouTube.

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