Whilst there's been a lot of excitement and anticipation in the build up to Jeff's March, it's important to remember there's a more serious side to this mammoth challenge. In this week's blog, Jeff talks about his encounter with Robin Millman, a remarkable man who's been battling prostate cancer for 16 years. Plus, find out which celebrity chef's egging on Jeff and his Men United Marchers!
Welcome to this week’s blog!
I know I say this every week but once again, thank you to everyone who has signed up for the Men United March, raised funds or kindly donated; every week the money raised exceeds my expectations and it’s fantastic that we have more than £91,000 in the pot – and counting.
The funds we are raising can help pay for our Specialist Nurses to support 1,000 men with their concerns about prostate cancer, their diagnosis and how they can help. It has supported men like Robin Millman who has been battling prostate cancer for 16 years.
I met Robin at Victoria Park and he’s a remarkable guy. In his own words, prostate cancer keeps hitting him on the nose and he keeps getting back up again. Most importantly, he won’t let it drag him down. When Robin was first diagnosed he found the nurses at the end of a phone line a great help in making sense of his diagnosis. He now volunteers by doing awareness talks to ensure men know their risk of prostate cancer.
Robin, I’m looking forward to seeing you again on Day 1 of the March in Hartlepool - you’re an inspiration to so many.
I heard a remarkable story this week of a fellow Hartlepool fan who found himself in some discomfort while training for the March. He went to his GP and has since had a triple heart bypass operation.
This epic event is about uniting men in aid of Prostate Cancer UK; our Men United movement is for everyone who believes men are worth fighting for and as a men’s health charity, I wish John a speedy recovery.
As we edge ever closer to the big kick-off on Monday 21 March, yet more friends have pledged to join me on the March! This week Prostate Cancer UK announced that former England star Ray Wilkins will be walking Day 1 AND Day 2 with me, and it was great to see him wearing our badge when working on Sky Sports News on Tuesday.
Ray had a great career for club and country and remains a big presence in the game courtesy of his precise punditry. It’s great to have him on board.
Also joining me is inspirational Team USA Paralympian, Richard Browne. It will be an honour to walk with him on Day 10.
It was good to catch up with an old journalist pal of mine Mike Walters for a nice piece in Saturday’s Daily Mirror. He’s affectionately known in the trade as Wally, but always tells a good story.
It was a good piece and gave me the opportunity to tell the tale of our club mascot H’Angus the Monkey (who will be walking with me on Day 7). H’Angus stood for mayor in my home town, which really caught the imagination.
It’s another reason why Hartlepool United is such a special part of my life, and also gave us some good national exposure for the March, which is great. You can read all about our chat here.
Sadly we suffered another defeat in midweek against Bristol Rovers, and that pain of defeat and precarious league placement will also be felt by fans of Norwich City who were on the wrong end of a tough call from the officials against Chelsea. Unperturbed, legendary Canaries fan and director Delia Smith has given her support to the March. Thanks Delia.
Photo Credit: Delia Online/Alban Pix
Congratulations to the 88 people who exceeded £300 on their fundraising target before the end of February. We entered them all into a prize draw to win a pair of tickets to the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final, and the lucky winner was David Annand.
David is a lifelong Gillingham fan who was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 49 and has played a huge role in volunteering at match day collections for Prostate Cancer UK, raising money across the country over the last five years. Well Done David!
We’ve had 332 sign ups so far, and the window of opportunity to sign up and walk with me on one of the days is diminishing fast. If you’re interested please visit menunitedmarch.org to find out how to get involved
Until next week!
This year’s March for Men will be bigger than ever, as we come to Belfast, Birmingham and Cardiff for the first time, and an old friend joins us for a four-nation marathon challenge.