From his local Yorkshire club to the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship, meet the man determined to take the Prostate Cancer UK message to golfers around the world.
John was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2004 and has been on a golfing crusade since. Around eight golfers, at his last count, were diagnosed after hearing his story and visiting their GP. Next month he's taking on the Big Golf Race and is calling on golfers and sports fans around the country to join him.
Golfers helped us raise almost £1m in 2019, and John Brownless was a key player in that achievement. He’s raised more than £50,000 across the last seven years, and inspired friends, family and even Major winners to join our movement. Just as important, he potentially saved many lives by sharing his story and raising funds with golf days in England and Spain, and his powerful awareness-raising speeches.
The Covid-19 crisis makes our 2020 golf fundraising look a lot more challenging, with captains like John unable to run action-packed fundraising seasons like last year. But with research at a standstill and our progress at risk, John isn't letting lockdown stop him. He's teaming up with Masters winner Danny Willet to ask golfers of all abilities to take on The Big Golf Race for prostate cancer research.
I’ve had grown men charge across the golf course and thank me. Many have told me they have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, but that they are having treatment. They're so grateful.
When Danny met John
At his most recent golf day, in Shipley, West Yorkshire, John’s passionate address to a packed room of golfers caught the attention of fellow Yorkshireman John Muff. Muff is manager to former Masters champion Danny Willett and was so inspired by the speech that he had to get Danny involved.
Fast forward to the opening PGA Tour event of the season in Abu Dhabi, and Danny is sporting our iconic ‘Man of Men’ pin badge, and will wear it all season when the golf season resumes.
“Prostate Cancer UK have done a fantastic job in raising awareness of the disease within the golf community. The disease sadly exists in every golf club, and there’s still a lot more work to be done.
“One in eight men in the UK will be affected by the disease - that means that one in eight families will have their lives changed by prostate cancer. It’s important for men to know their risk of the disease and to support the charity in its fight against prostate cancer.”
“John (Muff) told me about the day put on at one of his local courses by John Brownless and the thing that stood out to us both, was the number of people who are affected by prostate cancer. It was at that time we both thought it would be a good idea to try and help out and support the charity and so we partnered up with them. The work guys like John and many others put into run events like that is huge, and they’re the real unsung heroes for sure. – Danny Willett
Keeping up the momentum in lockdown with #StayPuttChallenge
Lockdown life has not put an end to John’s fundraising prowess. He helped kick off our recent #StayPuttChallenge in which golfers of all abilities attempted wild and wacky putts to raise funds and awareness.
Willett was joined in the challenge by fellow tour player Matt Fitzpatrick and former European Tour professional and Prostate Cancer UK ambassador Andrew Murray. ITV presenter Mark Pougatch and former England football duo Matt Le Tissier and Lee Dixon also took part.
Whether you're a seasoned pro or have just discovered some dusty old clubs in the loft and fancy a day in nature you can take on The Big Golf Race to stop prostate cancer limiting lives.
Grab your mates, pick the course and choose from a marathon (four rounds), half marathon (two rounds) or sprint (a rapid 18 holes) and golf the distance in one day.
Head here for more information and to sign up.