More than 9,000 people are expected to be dealing their cards, stacking their chips and donating their winnings as part of our Lads Night In poker fundraiser on 25 September. While it's all about having fun with your mates, for some men organising games there are more personal and serious reasons for playing. We hear why from three of them, including former footballer Robbie Savage.

30 Sep 2015

Martyn: the prostate cancer survivor

Martyn

Martyn was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few years ago after being encouraged by a friend to discuss having a PSA blood test with his doctor. The Dartmoor Search and Rescue team volunteer is holding a Lads Night In at the team’s Ashburton HQ.

"I was going to the doctor for a general health check and a good friend told me to ensure I talked to my GP about a prostate check. I was unaware of prostate cancer at this point. The doctor gave me a PSA blood test and all was well but I was monitored over the following months.

"One month the test came back with a high reading and I was referred to hospital for further checks. After a scope up the bum, the consultant said all looked well.

But when the biopsy came back, it showed that my prostate contained aggressive cancer. I felt the world drop out of me.

"However, to cut a long story short, I had robotic surgery to remove my prostate. All is now well and I have six-monthly blood checks. A guardian angel looked over me as I had no signs or symptoms but did in fact have an aggressive prostate cancer that was luckily caught in time.

"We're going to be holding a Lads Night In for the Ashburton Rescue team at the Rescue Centre with lots of games, camping and an all night barbecue. Local businesses have also got involved to donate anything from beer to a portaloo! It should be a great night, raising funds and awareness for a really important cause."

Phil Honey: playing for his dad

Phil Honey

A father of three from Buckinghamshire, Phil Honey's father and uncle both experienced prostate problems. He'll be joining a Lads Night In hosted by professional poker player Jake Cody in London after winning a PokerStars competition to describe his dream home game of poker.

"My father and his brother both suffered with enlarged prostates once they were into their 60s. An enlarged prostate doesn't always mean prostate cancer but if anyone starts having trouble when they take a leak they really should find themselves an hour and make an appointment to see their GP.

I'm very happy to say my Dad came through that ordeal and has made a great recovery.

"Before they operated on him they made him lose weight so he's been down the gym and has never been fitter.

"Most blokes are awful when it comes to health issues but events like Lads Night In are really helping."

Robbie Savage: supporting his mentor

Robbie Savage 

In our exclusive interview with the football pundit and former Wales international, Robbie Savage explains how watching his mentor, Nobby Stiles, fight prostate cancer spurred him to organise his own Lads Night In.

"Nobby Stiles helped me so much throughout my career – without him I wouldn’t have been as successful. He was such a fit, athletic, mobile person in his football career. To see him now fighting the disease just shows it can affect anybody.

After what he did in ’66, I'm sure the whole of England is wishing him well.

"I’m sure there were technically better players than Nobby, but his desire, his dedication – which he’s showing in this fight against prostate cancer – was there for everyone to see.

"I’m a bit of a hypochondriac, so any little slight problem, I’m on the phone to all of my ex club doctors. I’m one of these people who’ll get things checked on a regular basis.

"John Hartson, another good mate of mine, had cancer and he left it a long time before he got checked out and he could have lost his life. So I urge people that any slight problem, get it checked as soon as you can."

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