Sydney FC legend on why Kick It For Brain Cancer fundraiser is so vital

He's one of the great leaders in Hyundai A-League history, known for his toughness, leadership and heart.

Sydney FC championship winner Mark Rudan left the Sky Blues a hero in 2007 before joining J-League outfit Avispa Fukuoka. 

The "Big Blue Man" is well remembered and loved. 

Now, while building a coaching career and working as a football pundit, he's revealed the personal story behind the idea for this weekend's Cure Brain Cancer Foundation’s “Kick it For Brain Cancer” fundraiser during Round 26 of the Hyundai A-League. 

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"When my mum was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer late last year we didn't know what type of tumour she had for a long time," he told www.a-league.com.au.   

"Frustration built in and I decided to do something about it and began reaching out to people for information.

Mark Rudan
The Cove pay tribute to their leader "The Big Blue Man" Mark Rudan

"Nici Andronicus from Cure Brain Cancer Foundation was fabulous in helping. I then realised just how badly underfunded brain cancer was. It kills more kids than any other disease.

"Ten years ago leukaemia was the biggest killer of kids but then the government put loads of funding towards it and as we all know more funding means better researchers, better scientists and now the survival rate has soared.

"The same has happened with breast cancer. There have been massive developments.

"But brain cancer?

"No, only 20% survive and no progress in 30 years. It’s just not fair. So I had this crazy idea.

"What if we could use football as the platform to make a difference. Raise awareness and raise funding?

"That’s how Kick It For Brain Cancer started."

 

Mark Rudan
Mark Rudan celebrates a goal for Sydney FC

FFA, Hyundai A-League clubs and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) united this week to support it. 

Earlier this week, players from each of the Hyundai A-League clubs hosting matches this Round 26 joined with researchers and clinicians to launch this initiative in Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle. 

Aiming to raise $1 million, fans will be able to support the initiative at each of the five fixtures, as well as online at www.kickitforbraincancer.org.au.

Supporters who attend the games can display their support by purchasing a Kick It For Brain Cancer bandana.

All proceeds will be donated to Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, Australia’s leading organisation for brain cancer research, advocacy and awareness.

"It's probably been the most important thing I've ever done. I really hope we can make a difference," added Rudan.