Ron Clarke to walk team out
Burton Albion are urging supporters to become Men United v Prostate Cancer as part of a quest to raise awareness about the deadly disease.
The Brewers have thrown their weight behind the exciting new campaign, the brainchild of Prostate Cancer UK, for their Sky Bet League 2 clash against AFC Wimbledon on March 15th.
Prostate Cancer UK is the Official Charity Partner of The Football League, and the game is one of 62 Men United match days across the Championship, League One and League Two between March 1st and April 18th, with fundraising activities also supporting the campaign.
The Men United v Prostate Cancer campaign was launched following a breakfast briefing at The Football League HQ on January 24th with comedian Bill Bailey assuming the role of team manager.
Big names from the world of showbusiness such as Stephen Fry, Sir Michael Parkinson and Damian Lewis, together with England sporting icons Les Ferdinand and Will Carling, have joined a new movement of men stretching well beyond 70,000 people. All have signed for Men United by completing a simple online test.
From the Pirelli Stadium to Hillsborough and Brunton Park to Home Park, clubs from up and down the country are taking steps to make a change.
This season for the first time ever, a new super team featuring football managers, players, fans and football club staff has joined arms as Men United to face prostate cancer head on by encouraging men everywhere to wise up to the disease and take action – and at this game Brewers manager Gary Rowett will hand on the mantle to a lucky fan Ron Clarke to lead out the team.
Ron Clarke, 74 Borough Counciller for Eton Ward and Staffordshire County Council was diagnosed with prostate cancer in June 2013 and was given the all clear in January 2014.
Ron is a long-term Burton Albion supporter and regularly supports the work of the Burton Albion Community Trust.
Ron believes events such as the Men United matchdays are vitally important in spreading advice to men who may have the cancer.
He said: “I was quite a health and active sort of person and I had no idea I had prostate cancer.
“I think it is fantastic that so many people that follow football will be made aware of prostate cancer.
“If it means more people can catch it early then it will save a lot of lives.”
Brewers’ manager Gary Rowett and AFC Wimbeldon manger Neal Ardley will sport the iconic Man of Men pin badges on the sidelines, and supporters will be able to follow suit and badge up themselves. There will be added information in the Matchday Brewer programme and via Albion’s social media platforms.
The match will also see collections take place around the stand, all in aid of Prostate Cancer UK, Burton Albion Community Trust’s Golden Goal Over 50’s members will be dotted around the Pirelli Stadium taking collections.
The pioneering partnership between Prostate Cancer UK and The Football League aims to reach over 16 million fans across the terraces up and down the country, raising awareness of the disease which affects 1 in 8 men sometime in their life and kills over 10,000 men a year.
Prostate Cancer UK’s Director of Fundraising, Mark Bishop, said: “We’ve been blown away by the positivity generated by our Men United v Prostate Cancer campaign and as
official charity partner of the Football League it’s fantastic to be able to further enhance that synergy as part of these special days.
“It’s great to see clubs up and down the country join together to make a difference to men’s health, not just on behalf of its own fans but on behalf of all men across the country too.
“Fans of every club will always back their heroes to the hilt, but by signing up to Men United they will be part of something bigger, part of a movement for men’s health where we are all fighting on the same team against common opposition. The more that sign up for Men United the bigger difference we will make.”
If you have concerns about prostate cancer please call Prostate Cancer UK's confidential Helpline on 0800 074 8383 or visit www.prostatecanceruk.org. The helpline is free to landlines, staffed by specialist nurses, and open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday with late opening until 8pm on Wednesdays.