Football clubs across the country unite to raise over £235,000 for Prostate United
775 fans and club staff from across the UK took on the annual challenge in October, with Doncaster Rovers and Newcastle United among the top clubs on this year's fundraising leaderboard.
Football clubs from across the UK have helped to take Prostate United to new heights in 2023.
Around 775 fans and club staff, representing clubs from the Premier League down to grassroots level, ran, cycled, or walked every day last month as part of the annual football fitness fundraiser. They conquered busy work schedules, injuries and Storm Babet to net a record Prostate United tally, with over £235,000 raised.
Since 2018, the challenge has united the football community every autumn with clubs from across the football pyramid involved, with even a clutch of managers taking part this year, including Sheffield United’s Paul Heckingbottom, Paul Warne of Derby County and Doncaster Rovers boss, Grant McCann, whose side topped the fundraising league table after raising an impressive £17,600.
And much like the Premiership campaigns of the mid-90s, Newcastle United and Manchester United were also challenging for the top spot, with the Toon Army pipping United to second place. Blackburn Rovers, led by a 10-man team of Rovers fans, finished in the final ‘Champions League’ fundraising spot in fourth.
Elsewhere, Derby County lent their support by hosting a special Prostate United matchday for their League One clash with Northampton Town, and managers McCann and former Oxford United boss Liam Manning spread the word in the media.
We want to give back as much as we can. Some of my family members and friends have been affected by prostate cancer. It’s important that we raise awareness and much-needed funds.
Their efforts, alongside the dozens of other professional clubs supporting the challenge in 2023, have been hailed by Prostate United creator Stephen Gilpin.
Gilpin was inspired to support Prostate Cancer UK after losing his grandfather, Norman, to the disease in 2010. A pre-season talk from then-manager Paul Warne, while Gilpin was working at Rotherham United, inspired him to lace up his running shoes and, joined by friend and former colleague Ross Burbeary, set off on a month-long challenge to run 10 kilometers every day that November.
Little did he know that five years later, his challenge would have raised over £550,000.
“We’re delighted with what has been a massive, record year and to be able to dramatically increase the participation and raise £235,000 for Prostate Cancer UK,” he said.
“It’s no secret that we want to hit that million-pound mark, so we’re really excited for next year. What we can see now is that Prostate United is on the football calendar, and it has really created its own identity. When the season starts, club staff and fans are looking forward to October and rallying participants across the UK, which is fantastic to see.
“We feel like we’re making a real difference, and hopefully through our fundraising, Prostate Cancer UK will be able to continue to invest in research into the disease and improve the outcomes for men.”