Lord’s turns ‘Red for Ruth’ on Thursday in recognition of the Ruth Strauss Foundation.
The former England captain Sir Andrew Strauss’s wife died from lung cancer in December 2018, aged 46. Strauss, whose two sons Sam and Luca were young children at the time of Ruth’s illness and death, has since set up the foundation to support families as they prepare for grief and bereavement.
Red for Ruth has become an annual event in which players wear bright red caps and blazers and the home of cricket is transformed in colour, with spectactors encouraged to wear red too. This summer it falls on the second day of England’s first Test match with South Africa, the start of a three-match series.
The foundation raises money for research into rare cancers and has launched a family support service which aims to help some of the 41,000 children each year who lose a parent.
“It is so important for those families that are going through this, to have that professional help,” Strauss said last year. “They’re at a time where they often feel completely lost, all at sea, scared and fearful and incredibly emotional, so I’m really heartened and it warms my soul to see that we’re actually delivering on what we promised. Making a worthwhile legacy for Ruth’s name is very satisfying.”
Last summer the day, during the England-India Test match at Lord’s, raised £1.2m.
“Every year we’ve just been blown away by the support we’ve received. It’s always surpassed our expectations,” Strauss said this week. “One thing we’re focussed on is delivering on the mission and in order to do that we need funds to allow us to do that.
“We know we’ll get fantastic support again this year and hopefully, as we’ve said every year, the Red For Ruth day and the Test match adds to the spectacle of the cricket as well and therefore it makes the whole thing a great occasion as well as a fundraising thing for us.
“If it’s a cause that registers and connects with people I’m sure they’ll want to support it. Hopefully people remain connected to the cause. Anyone who has a family, the idea of losing a parent is an awful situation to go through so if we can make that journey easier for people, as brutal as it is, it’s worth us spending the time to try and facilitate that.”