Sky Sports presenter and Prostate Cancer UK ambassador, Jeff Stelling smashes through the £1 million mark on his third epic walking challenge.
He’s done it. You’ve done it! On Sunday, Jeff's March for Men smashed the million pound mark during Jeff's epic four nation challenge.
This year, Jeff's March For Men involved four walking marathons between famous football stadiums across Glasgow, Belfast, Cardiff and London.
Stelling was informed of the mega money milestone as he and the walkers congregated on the steps of the Emirates Stadium – the home of Arsenal – giving him the perfect boost ahead of the final stretch of the march across North London to the rowdy finish line in Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium.
Jeff completed 25 walking marathons to raise funds for prostate cancer research in 2016 and 2017, raising close to £800,000. This year, Jeff went bigger and bolder in an attempt to hit a million pound in total over the three years since the event began.
There was an emotional moment on the finish line when Jeff's friend Lloyd Pinder surprised him by handing him his medal. Lloyd is a man with incurable prostate cancer, who has become good friends with the Soccer Saturday host after they met on Jeff's first march in 2016. Lloyd said "It's a phenomenal amount of money. I hope you continue to be an ambassador for Prostate Cancer UK because you're one in a million mate."
Stelling has now walked 750 miles for Prostate Cancer UK since 2016, the equivalent of walking from Hartlepool to Strasbourg, in Western France. This year he visited 16 football clubs, taking his three-walk tally to 89 – but was also faced with the added challenge of transport connections, including two flights across the Irish Sea.
Jeff was joined by hundreds of supporters, including many men affected by prostate cancer, their friends and family. The marchers were also joined by star-studded support across all four days including David Moyes, Irvine Welsh, Malky Mackay, Gordon Smith, Alex Rae, Mark Hateley, Iain Dowie, Colin Murray and Carl Frampton.
“When we kicked off this adventure from Victoria Park in 2016, I never imagined that three years on I’d be standing here having helped to raise an incredible £1 million for Prostate Cancer UK.” said Jeff, who regularly wears our Man of Men pin badge on Soccer Saturday, alongside panellists Charlie Nicholas and Matt Le Tissier, who also joined him on the march.
"It’s been an incredible journey, one I wouldn’t have managed without the fantastic support of the public, football clubs, football fans from across the four nations and everyone at Prostate Cancer UK."
"It looked fraught at times, with travel deadlines always looming in the back of our minds, but the passion and enthusiasm of my fellow walkers spurred us on to crossing that finish line. I’ve met some amazing people across all three challenges, and their stories and positivity will stay with me forever."
These men, and their families, friends and loved ones, are the reason that I have marched over 750 miles since 2016. My legs aren’t thanking me now but knowing that the extraordinary amount of money we’ve raised will fund life-saving research so that in years to come, prostate cancer will be a disease that men and their families need not fear, certainly eases the pain.
The 100-plus mile march kicked off in Glasgow, at Hampden Park, home of the Scottish national team, and the nation’s oldest club, Queens Park, in the morning of 5 September, and also headed to city giants Rangers FC and Celtic FC before visiting Hamilton Academical and finishing at Motherwell FC.
He then boarded a plane to Belfast that evening for...
Starting at Northern Ireland Football League Premier League club Crusaders before culminating at Windsor Park, home of Linfield as well as the Northern Ireland national team. The Belfast route also visited Cliftonville FC and Glentoran FC.
After flying back across the Irish Sea, Saturday 7 September saw him in Wales where he headed from League Two Newport County to Premier League Cardiff City and finished at the Principality Stadium.
Then it was a train into England that evening before...
The final amble across London on 8 September, from West Ham United’s London Stadium to Charlton Athletic, Millwall FC, Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur. During the day Jeff was joined by Sir Trevor Brooking, Keith Peacock, Chris Kamara, Francis Benali, Dave Berry, David Seaman, Alastair Campbell, Phil Daniels, Paul Parker and Mark Bright.
Jeff and team walked ten marathons in ten days from, Hartlepool United, to Wembley raising £420,000.
Jeff marched 15 marathons in 15 days from Exeter to Newcastle, raising £380,000 and taking the total to £800,000.
Jeff and his men took the march around the UK: four days, four nations and over 500 marchers raising £245,000 and counting and taking the fundraising total beyond £1.4 million.
To give you an idea of what a £1,000,000 research project looks like - take a look at what Prostate Cancer UK and Movember are funding with Professor Johann de Bono to develop precision medicines for kinder, more effective treatments.
We’re all unique. Just like no two men are exactly the same, no man’s cancer is the same either. What makes his cancer cells tick, how his cancer grows and – most importantly – how his cancer responds to treatment varies a lot.
However, when men are diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, they are all treated with the same one-size-fits-all approach. This works well for some men, giving them many years of high quality life after their diagnosis. But others aren’t so lucky.
Movember and Prostate Cancer UK are funding Professor Johann de Bono to develop precision medicines to change this, and develop a ‘precision medicine’ approach to treating advanced prostate cancer. He’s running two clinical trials, to try to understand what makes some men respond better to certain treatments, based on genetic clues in their blood and cancer. By the end of the project, he’ll be able to predict which drug should be matched to which man, so that all men get the best treatment for them, at the best time possible.
We are extremely excited about this new strategy for treating this commonest of male cancers, and are confident that this is going to improve outcomes for men with prostate cancer. Thank you for helping us fund this ground-breaking research.
A massive thank you to Jeff and every single walker who joined him around the UK. Also, to our sponsors Sky Bet and The Stars Group. You can still donate to Jeff’s challenge here.
Inspired to March For Men? Organise your own walk, whenever and wherever.