Real Stories
12 Nov 2021

As our touring Prostate Cancer Memorial is unveiled we speak to a proud woman who inspired its creation.

Remembering our men: The Prostate Cancer Memorial now stands proudly in London Bridge Station, and will soon tour the UK.

Michelle Blythe lost her husband of 42 years, Doug, in 2017 after years of treatment for prostate cancer. “Doug was such a clever, brave, family man who loved his children, Bill and Gemma, and our grandchildren.” said Michelle. “He was always the life and soul. We had so many parties that we had to set up a bar in the living room!” 

Doug was diagnosed in 2011 and received several treatments over seven years, including taking part in a clinical trial at The Royal Marsden Hospital under the guidance of Professor Johann de Bono, one of our funded researchers. 

Michelle remembered Doug’s positivity on trips to the hospital, “once he had the medication prescribed he would feel amazing, he would be in the reception of the hospital saying there was nothing wrong with him, making us all laugh, being silly.”

Ever the joker, when Doug was terminally ill, he took time to write his own eulogy peppering it with his signature humour, and made it clear he wanted his wake and funeral to be a celebration of his life.

When that time came, despite their devastation, the family did their best, “Doug was a party man, so in the pub near the crematorium, my son Bill made sure it was an open bar. We were there sharing memories until about 9pm in the pub garden. My friend said,’I know I shouldn’t say it but that was the best funeral I’ve ever been to.”

I’ll always keep Doug's memory alive. Having his name engraved on the memorial feels like such a special way to do that.
Michelle Blythe

After taking funeral donations to Prostate Cancer UK, the family have honoured Doug in all kinds of ways - Gemma marched with other families at March For Men, Bill set up a fundraising page and raised over £3,000. But in conversations with our staff the family wondered if there was a permanent way to honour Doug’s memory while directly supporting research that can give men more time with their families. The seeds of The Prostate Cancer Memorial were planted. In the following years, we’ve worked with families like Michelle’s to bring the vision to life.

This week, we’re delighted to unveil The Prostate Cancer Memorial. The beautiful reflective triangular structure is engraved with the names of men we’ve lost, with our iconic Man of Men logo adorning one of the sides. It sits proudly in the Tooley Street exit of London Bridge Station, opposite our head office.

The memorial has already been visited and admired by partners, sons, daughters and loved ones, who’ve paid their own personal tributes. 

Other names featured on the memorial include that of footballing great, former England, goalkeeper Ray Clemence; Chic Nicholas, father of former Arsenal Celtic and Scotland striker Charlie Nicholas, and former England cricketing hero and Sky Sports pundit Bob Willis.

Joe Pasquale, comedian and former I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! winner, lost his dad, Joseph, to prostate cancer in 2019 just after Joe appeared on ITV’s The All New Monty motivated by his father’s diagnosis. Joseph’s name is also engraved on the ten-foot mirrored steel pyramid in his honour. 

Joe said: “My dad was a fantastic man and meant the world to me. I miss him dearly. Having my dad’s name feature on The Prostate Cancer Memorial means an awful lot to me, and I think it would to my dad too. I hope the memorial raises much needed awareness around the disease so that men don’t have to go through what my dad did.” 

Michelle, her daughter Gemma and son Bill are proud that Doug’s memory is such a key part of this collective effort to remember our men while paving the way to a world where lives aren’t limited by prostate cancer. “I miss Doug terribly but I’m so lucky to have my family supporting me. I’ll always keep his memory alive, and having his name engraved on the memorial feels like such a special way to do that.” 

The memorial is now at London Bridge Station. We'll soon share details of upcoming locations across the UK.

Find out more about the Prostate Cancer Memorial here.

202108 Memorial Sculpture

The Prostate Cancer Memorial

Celebrate the life of your loved one with a permanent name engraving on The Prostate Cancer Memorial. You’ll be helping to fund lifesaving research and support for our husbands, dads, uncles and grandads.
Find out more