Today marks two years since Dave Garbett lost his dad, Steve, to prostate cancer. Since then, he and his family and friends have raised huge sums for Prostate Cancer UK. But he explains why it's he who is thankful to the charity, for helping him keep memories of his dad strong through all the miles he's cycled, auctions he's held and pin badges he's sold.
The seventh of September will always be a difficult day for me and my family. It’s the day my mum lost her husband, my daughters lost their grandad, and I lost my father. But his memory will never fade. And all the work we do with Prostate Cancer UK helps to preserve his spirit and amazing zest for life.
The fundraising started at my dad’s funeral. We asked people to donate money and handed out the Man of Men pin badges. It’s amazing how much awareness those little lapel badges can raise – so many people see them worn on TV by football managers and pundits. But it’s even more provoking when you see random people wearing them, knowing that we’re all part of a movement to change the game for men everywhere.
TeamGarby have been amazing and raised over £61,000. Their dedication to raising funds in memory of my dad is second to none
Since the funeral, myself, my family and great friends have participated in various fundraising events, including organising evenings at our local rugby club and at a major venue in Leeds that raised over £6,000 for the charity on its own.
Then there's the two Football to Amsterdam cycle rides, for which I raised just over £9,000. But TeamGarby [the team of cyclists that rode with Dave] have been amazing and raised over £61,000. Their dedication to raising funds in memory of my dad is second to none.
I was honoured with the orange jersey in last year's Football to Amsterdam for overall highest individual fundraiser, and this year TeamGarby won the jersey for one of the highest fundraising teams. Now we’re lining up a major push for next year’s event, where we hope to raise around £40,000 to take TeamGarby's total to the £100,000 mark!
My dad was larger than life. Being great mates with Preston North End's manager, Simon Grayson, he managed to get himself on the guest-list at Wembley not once, but twice to watch the play-off finals and get the VIP treatment. He always wanted to take me along, too, but sadly never got the chance.
It makes me incredibly proud to know that the money we’ve raised will help people like my dad, and the awareness raised could potentially save lives
So when Prostate Cancer UK asked me to be the Guest of Honour at Wembley, I couldn’t turn it down. Even my dad never got to walk out on to the pitch! Walking through the players' tunnel is something I’ll never forget. He would have been very proud – and jealous!
Prostate Cancer UK invited me to Wembley because of all the fundraising I’ve done, but I love rallying my friends and family and raising money for the charity. It makes me incredibly proud to know that the money we’ve raised over the last couple of years will help people like my dad, and the awareness raised could potentially save lives.