gladstone small

Now’s the time to take action

Ex cricketer Gladstone Small explains his personal connection to the cause

What do you know about prostate cancer?

It’s something I’ve heard about over the years, but I never really took much interest or notice of it. But it hit home for me about five or six years ago. My old man lived in the UK for most of his life but when he retired he moved back to Barbados. When he turned 90 he seemed well – he ate well and didn’t drink or smoke. But when he died shortly after that, his doctor told us he had prostate cancer and had been undergoing treatment for a while.

Why are you supporting our campaign?

The stat 1 in 4 black men will get prostate cancer is something which needs to be known. Us black men are not very good at coming forward about our health issues, and with this disease it’s important we get the message out there. 

My dad kept his illness to himself, he didn’t tell anyone at all.

Why do you think some men shy away from talking about their health?

As men we want to be fit, strong and athletic, but we have a flaw in our system when it comes to pride and being ill – we don’t want to admit we’re ill, it’s almost like a sign of weakness.

How important do you think sports, and cricket in particular, is when helping men to talk about health issues?

People get passionate about sport, and cricket is particularly big in the West Indies – that was really the one sport which helped build their identity. So the more that someone like myself, as an ex cricketer, can help to build a connection with other communities and raise awareness of prostate cancer, the better.

What would your message to black men be?

You’re responsible for your actions. So if you have any concerns about prostate cancer, go and speak to your GP.