Real Stories
29 Dec 2023

“Unbelievable” Jeff Stelling awarded an MBE in King’s New Year Honours List

Legendary broadcaster and our much-loved ambassador Jeff Stelling honoured by the King - get in Jeff!  

On Saturday 30 January, the annual King’s New Year Honours List was announced, and we were delighted to see our friend Jeff Stelling getting the credit he deserves. 

The list recognises the achievements and service of people across the UK, from all walks of life, and it is walks- well, marathons really! - that have formed a key part of Jeff’s award. 

Jeff has been awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire) for his contribution to sport, broadcasting and his services to charity, alongside other well-known names recognised this year including England goalkeeper Mary Earps, Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis and novelist Jilly Cooper to name a few.  

I’m doing a job that most people would give an arm and a leg for. So whilst I’ve had a wonderful and fortunate career, I’m glad that the MBE is in recognition more than anything of the charity work.
Jeff Stelling MBE

In his career, Jeff Stelling started out as a reporter for The Hartlepool Mail and became the most iconic football presenter in the UK. He joined Sky Sports in 1992 and built his legend there for over 30 years, most notably hosting the nation’s favourite Soccer Saturday for over 25 years.  

But it's his dedication to helping save men’s lives which seals the deal for us. In true Jeff fashion, let’s give you a few stats on his monumental achievements for Prostate Cancer UK:  

  • Led 34 marathon walks across the UK with thousands of Prostate Cancer UK supporters 
  • Raised over £1.7 million for lifesaving research  
  • Visited over 106 football clubs and walked over 890 miles for us 

And all that without mentioning the lifesaving awareness Jeff raised through wearing his Man of Men badge on Soccer Saturday every week. A programme watched by millions, many of them men at risk, Jeff wore his badge and urged men to know their risk and what they could do about it. This lead to football fans across the UK learning more about prostate cancer, taking our online risk checker and in some cases, getting an early diagnosis to save their life.  

On the first football march Jeff did for Prostate Cancer UK, he was introduced to a woman who said she had seen him wearing the badge, discovered what it represented and then read on to find out more about prostate cancer.

“Lo and behold her husband had all the symptoms. He went and got tested, got treatment. She just wanted to say thank you – that just by wearing the badge you have saved my husband’s life and he will be OK. The cancer was so far advanced that had she not Googled it then, he would have been dead." said Jeff.

Jeff March close group

As a Prostate Cancer UK ambassador, Jeff has received letters and messages from families across the country thanking him and come face to face with dads, brothers, sons and mates who have been saved by his selfless commitment to men. Jeff continues to support Prostate Cancer UK wearing his Man of Men badge on Prime Video’s “Every game, every goal show” and since leaving Sky hosts talkSPORT’s Breakfast show every Monday and Tuesday. 

In September 2023, Jeff walked his 34th marathon in honour of fellow ambassador, the late broadcaster Bill Turnbull who died from prostate cancer in 2022. To honour Bill’s legacy, Jeff had set himself a fundraising target of £250,000... and he smashed it, eventually raising over £390,000! The walk, sponsored by GenesisCare, started at Wembley Stadium and ended at Bill’s beloved football club, Wycombe Wanderers.  

When he heard the news of his award, Jeff Stelling said: “I am very proud to have had the opportunity. It’s been great to help raise awareness of prostate cancer, but the fundraising has been done by the hundreds and hundreds of people who come and walk with me. All I do is put one foot in front of the next one and lend my name to the marches."

Jeff's March example finish

After walking that marathon alongside Jeff in September, our Chief Executive Laura Kerby had these words of congratulations for Jeff today: 

“We’re thrilled that the ‘unbelievable’ Jeff Stelling has been honoured. For nearly a decade, Jeff has been and is an incredible ambassador to Prostate Cancer UK, helping us raise crucial awareness of the disease throughout the footballing community. Jeff has been the spearhead of more than £1.7m raised from football marathon marches for Prostate Cancer UK since 2016.  In that time he’s walked 34 marathons, over 890 miles, visited 106 football clubs across the UK, and been joined by more than 2,250 walkers, all raising vital funds for lifesaving prostate cancer research. 

During his years in the Sky Sports Soccer Saturday studio, Jeff proudly wore his Man of Men badge every week, inspiring football fans to learn more about this cancer which affects 1 in 8 men, and many of them have taken an action which has saved lives. On behalf of Prostate Cancer UK, and all the men and families we represent, we are so proud to have Jeff Stelling on our team and thankful for his selfless efforts. This honour is richly deserved.” 

Thank you Jeff, you legend!