Vow to make 2012/13 'a season saving men's lives'
Former England, Watford and AC Milan striker, Luther Blissett, today (21 August) joined Prostate Cancer UK and The Football League in launching their 2012/13 partnership, a season saving men's lives.
Players, staff and fans of the 72 Football League clubs will undertake a range of activities this season to raise funds to help more men survive prostate cancer and enjoy a better quality of life.
Blissett launched the partnership at the beginning of the new Football League season and was joined by Prostate Cancer UK supporter, David Annand, who was diagnosed with the disease last year at only 49 years old. David is walking 500 miles around football grounds across the UK over the course of the year to raise awareness of the disease.
Luther Blissett said: "Prostate Cancer UK's groundbreaking partnership with The Football League is a fantastic way to raise awareness of the most common cancer in men.
"It's brilliant that my old clubs - Watford, Bournemouth and Bury - will be joining forces with the wider football community to spread the word about prostate cancer this season and help raise funds for the range of support services Prostate Cancer UK has to offer men affected by the disease."
Owen Sharp, Chief Executive at Prostate Cancer UK, said: "Every hour one man dies from prostate cancer, but still all too few men talk about their health as much as they should. Prostate Cancer UK's partnership with The Football League will play an invaluable role in breaking down some of the taboos that still exist, which is vital in encouraging men to be more open and to think and talk about prostate cancer.
"We hope that everyone who comes through the turnstiles this season will get behind the partnership to raise as much as possible and make an even bigger difference to the 250,000 men affected by the disease throughout the UK."
Greg Clarke, Chairman of The Football League said: "Prostate cancer affects hundreds of thousands of people across the UK every single day and I'm proud that all 72 Football League clubs will unite behind a season saving men's lives. I would encourage fans up and down the country to get involved with fundraising at their local League club to help fight this disease.
"With the help of The Football League and supporters, we can make more men and their families, aware of their health and help raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK's vital support services. By working with The Football League, our clubs and their local communities, this partnership will plays its part in helping Prostate Cancer UK make a difference to the lives of thousands of men across the country."
Prostate Cancer UK is hoping to raise funds through a range of activity throughout the season, including dedicated weeks of support from 2 to 16 March to coincide with Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
More than 65,000 Football League fans, club Chief Executives and Football League staff chose Prostate Cancer UK as their charity partner for this season from a shortlist of six charities.
The six shortlisted charities were: Anthony Nolan, British Heart Foundation, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, NSPCC, Prostate Cancer UK and St John Ambulance.
Greg Clarke, Chairman of The Football League said: "Congratulations to Prostate Cancer UK on their selection as our 2012/13 Official Charity Partner.
"The competition was extremely tough again this year, with all six shortlisted organisations presenting very worthy causes and specialised plans to engage with all 72 Football League communities.
"I would like to thank all those who took the time to vote. I'm sure that Football League fans up and down the country will continue the incredible support they have shown our chosen charities over the last three seasons."
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men; killing one man every hour, every day. And there are a quarter of a million men in the UK currently dealing with the disease.
Prostate Cancer UK's Specialist Nurses support thousands of men with the disease whilst the Charity also invests in vital scientific research.
Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of the charity, said: "This is the biggest cancer in men and football is the biggest sport for reaching and involving men. So, partnering with The Football League is an incredible opportunity for us to reach and support thousands of football-mad men who will face this cancer.
"To put it into a match day context, between the time a supporter goes through the turnstile, watches the game, gets a half-time cuppa, and then leaves the ground after the final whistle, two men have died from prostate cancer. That is why we are so grateful to be able to work with The Football League and its 72 Clubs and communities to raise funds and help us fight this disease."
As the Official Charity Partner, we will receive exposure across all Football League clubs, raise huge awareness with 72 football mad communities and raise a lot of money. There will also be a dedicated week of action in 2013 and presence at each of the five Football League Finals.
Ex-footballer - turned broadcaster, Mark Bright, has backed the Charity's bid from the start. He says: "This is a massive result for Prostate Cancer UK - I'm so proud to be a committed ambassador. This disease kills one man every hour, but not enough people know about it. For so many people - prostate cancer is just not on their radar.
"This partnership means so much because we will be reaching the men on the terraces with a message we need to drive home. It will also raise vital funds, so the charity can reach more men with its specialist nurses, information and support. 2012 is such a big year for everyone connected with Prostate Cancer UK. Get in!"