Pete Townshend’s classic track ‘Give Blood’ will be used to promote blood donation for World Blood Donor Day.

The 76-year-old music icon has given permission for his 1985 solo track to be used for the first time to promote blood donation in honour of World Blood Donor Day on June 14.

Pete has also allowed Global Blood Fund – a charity focused on encouraging voluntary blood donation – to produce world-music interpretations of the song in multiple languages for international use to inspire a new generation of blood donors.

In a statement, the co-founder of The Who said: “Although it is now more than 35 years since I wrote the song ‘Give Blood’, this is the first time it has actually been used to encourage donation. Shortage of blood around the world is a huge issue, particularly in poorer countries, and so I was delighted to give permission for Global Blood Fund to use my work to help communicate the need for more donors to come forward.”

The song – which served as the opening track on Pete’s fourth solo album, ‘White City: A Novel’ – is being released in several versions, including African English, African English (alternative), African French, Arabic, Spanish, and UK English.

Working closely with national and regional blood services around the world, the music tracks will be released through multiple channels in the run up to June 14, with national blood services encouraged to “get creative” in how they use materials.

Global Blood Fund’s Executive Director, Gavin Evans, said in his own statement: “Each year it becomes harder for messages about the importance of blood donation to cut through to the public, even though tens of thousands tragically die because of blood shortages. But with music such an influential part of people’s lives – especially in many of those countries that struggle most to collect enough blood – for 2021 we are using lyrics and melody to highlight the extraordinary impact of donor generosity.

“Not only do these individuals help save the lives of those in need of a blood transfusion, but the benefit to family, friends and the wider community of helping that patient recover is also profound. Using music as the medium, we think we have some really powerful messaging - and a great set of songs that people will enjoy in their own right.”