Men United. Keeping friendships alive. Never has this statement been more significant than in the case of Preston North End Manager Simon Grayson.
The Deepdale boss has joined Men United by signing up to take part in our third annual London to Amsterdam Cycle Challenge in June 2015 to honour the memory of his best friend Stephen ‘Garby’ Garbett.
The pair had been friends for twenty years when Stephen sadly passed away following a 10 year battle with prostate cancer in September 2014. His death inspired Grayson to do something to help raise awareness and funds to help others affected by the disease. He will be joined on the ride by Stephen’s son Dave, family, friends and backroom staff from Preston.
Grayson said “I am delighted to support the charity which is very close to my heart. Steve was a really close friend, who followed my career closely as a player and latterly as a manager and was always there to offer me support and advice. He was there for the good and the bad and I wanted to do something that gave something back and raised awareness for Prostate Cancer UK’s efforts. I felt that this was a great way to hopefully raise money, by going through the pain barrier with this bike ride. I am hoping to be joined by a good number of my backroom staff at Preston North End, a number of whom also knew Steve and were as keen as I was to get involved."
Dave Garbett, Stephen’s son, added “Simon has been a great friend to dad over the years, and is continuing to do so by looking out for my mum - calling round for a coffee or taking her out for a bite to eat. Prostate Cancer UK is a charity dad was passionate about and he would urge men to join Men United and do something great with their friends. It’s going to be brilliant to take part in this ride with Simon and other close friends in memory of my dad. If the awareness raised from talking about his experience saves someone from going through what he went through, then he would be happy.”
The group will be joined at the start line by former international trio Terry Butcher, Matt Holland and Luther Blissett with Football League clubs from up and down the country represented on the ride.
Director of Fundraising, Mark Bishop said: “It’s a really enjoyable event, and it really resonates when we have people on the ride that have been directly affected by this deadly disease. To have Dave and Simon riding in honour of ‘Garby’ sends out an incredibly powerful message and will help raise awareness and funds to help save men’s lives. Everyone on the start line at Leyton Orient will represent Men United: people joining the same team to fight a common opposition – prostate cancer.”
As men across the country sign up to Men United and pledge to see their friends more and do something great together to help beat prostate cancer, the movement is proving that keeping friendships alive in more ways than one.