To celebrate the return of the beautiful game, and in line with their mission statement ‘Men, We Are With You’, the leading men’s health charity has assembled a cast of influential football names to create a powerful new film.
While matches continue behind closed doors, the short social media clip was, of course, created virtually with all six, including Bristol’s Michelle Owen, filming their contributions from afar and each proudly sporting their iconic ‘Man of Men’ pin badge.
Albion boss Graham Potter took time off the training pitch to record his message before the Seagulls resumed their Premier League season with a famous win over Arsenal.
Potter is joined in the film by legendary Sky Sports Soccer Saturday presenter Jeff Stelling, a man who has raised more than £1m for Prostate Cancer UK, as well as wearing his badge each and every weekend.
Arsenal Fan TV founder Robbie Lyle, talkSPORT presenter Max Rushden and Sky Sports and BBC reporter Michelle Owen, who have all walked the walk for the charity, also talk the talk.
England coach and former Charlton Athletic, Huddersfield Town and Southend United boss Chris Powell completes the six-strong cast.
At the start of June prostate cancer was announced as the UK’s most commonly diagnosed cancer for the first time, according to new figures - 10 years earlier than previously predicted.
That rate is largely due to increased awareness of the disease in recent years, and hot on the heels of the news, and their bid to get ground-breaking research back up and running again the exciting video was launched.
The first voice on the eye-catching video, Stelling said, “I wear my Man of Men pin badge with absolute pride. I wear it every Saturday and so do all the boys on the Soccer Saturday panel, Matt Le Tissier, Paul Merson, Phil Thompson and Charlie Nicholas.
“We all do it because we are desperate to raise awareness of this horrendous cause of death for men.
“Prostate cancer being the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK is a sobering statistic, but this does mean that the message is getting out there about the dangers of this disease and that more people are having vital conversations about it.
“The football family can also help in the battle against prostate cancer within the UK. Don’t leave it to your team manager to wear the badge, don’t leave it to me, don’t leave it to the panel. You can wear it as well.
“Your mates will ask you what it is, and you can tell them it’s the ‘Man of Men’ badge from Prostate Cancer UK.
“Just remember, it’s not just about men, it’s about men’s wives, daughters, mothers, sisters, families. Prostate cancer is about everyone and you as a football fan you’re in pole position to help.
Bristol-based Owen, a regular reporter on Soccer Saturday joined long-time colleague Stelling in his 2017 March for Men and added: “I walked with Jeff a couple of years ago and while walking as part of Jeff’s March met the inspirational Kevin Webber.
“Kevin has incurable prostate cancer but is such an optimist and inspiration, he literally never stops fundraising.
“I was inspired that day to spread the word for men to get checked and also saw the amazing work the charity is doing.”
Prostate cancer affects one in eight men in the UK, with one man dying every 45 minutes from the disease, statistics that stunned Seagulls chief Potter.
“The statistics are shocking,” he said. “Just looking around the AMEX and thinking of those numbers really brings it home and it’s so important we come together as a football family and raise awareness of this disease.
He added, “Cancer doesn’t really worry about status. It can affect us all; anybody. It’s indiscriminate, so the more we can show support and raise awareness and be there for each other the better.
“The more people are aware, the more we know about this disease, the more we can fight back and reduce those numbers.”
Prostate Cancer UK Chief Executive Angela Culhane said, “We’re proud of our work across football, and the fact that so many people now associate our iconic pin badge with the beautiful game is really humbling.
“Add in the influence of the football family, spanning broadcasting studios, boardrooms, terraces and touchlines, getting behind us, and that makes a real difference in the fight against prostate cancer.
“Around 400,000 men are living with or after a prostate cancer diagnosis, and that number keeps rising. Now, for the first time ever, it has become the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK.
“We’ve reached this point a decade or so earlier than previously predicted, which is in part due to a big increase in awareness of the disease in recent years.
“There is still much work to do, and during this difficult time our aim is to secure the future of prostate cancer research and ensure we are there for men and their families. This film shines a light on our work in football which helps us to keep growing the team against prostate cancer.”
Prostate Cancer UK’s dedicated team of Specialist Nurses remain on hand to speak to and reassure men and their families currently affected by prostate cancer in the UK, and the implications of COVID-19.
To speak to a specialist nurse or for more information call 0800 074 8383 or visit prostatecanceruk.org.