Legends visit the royal marsden

Legends of Europe match 2023: Remembering the late Gianluca Vialli

On 9 September 2023 the Legends of Europe football match took place at Chelsea FC to raise money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, The Chelsea Foundation and The Bayern Munich Foundation. The game was held in memory of the late Gianluca Vialli, an iconic former Chelsea forward and manager who was treated at The Royal Marsden. 

Chelsea FC legends visit, one year on

Former Chelsea FC players Roberto Di Matteo and Dennis Wise visited The Royal Marsden a year on from the match to see the difference funds raised could make to the lives of cancer patients here and around the world. 

Legends outside the Royal Marsden with DC
Professor David Cunningham (middle left) with Chelsea FC legends.

In honour of Gianluca Vialli

Professor David Cunningham, Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden and lifelong Chelsea fan, was Gianluca’s consultant. He also attended the match in 2023 and met with the Chelsea FC legends a year on to tell them more about the difference their fundraising could make. 

He said, “Gianluca was the most wonderful, kind man. He was great with all the team, the nurses, the doctors...We considered it a great privilege to be involved in his care.

I've supported the Blues since moving to London 30 years ago. Celebrating the highs and lows through the years. I was filled with happiness and sadness cheering at Stamford Bridge on 9th September as we remember what a player Gianluca was, and raise money to help many others.”


Thomas R and daughter

The difference you make

Thomas Romain, 31, father of four and avid Chelsea fan, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma when he was 26 years old. He came to The Royal Marsden and was the first patient at the hospital to receive CAR-T treatment, a pioneering therapy which uses the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer, using gene therapy techniques. 

“You just don’t think that a cancer diagnosis will ever happen to you especially if you are quite young. CAR-T treatment at The Royal Marsden has given me the opportunity to live my life to the full and I feel so lucky. The Royal Marsden is second to none and I’m extremely grateful that this treatment has enabled me to enjoy my life with my family.”

Funds raised from the Legends match will make a difference to the lives of cancer patients like Thomas, both at the hospital and around the world.