WALKING 10 marathons in 10 days? That’s unbelievable! Hartlepool United (via Burton Albion) to Wembley by Jeff StellingIn 2016 I wanted to do something different. I wanted to do something where people could see I was feeling the pain on behalf of a fantastic cause. Walking 10 marathons in 10 days to help beat prostate cancer, a disease killing over 10,000 men every year, seemed like an ideal opportunity.
I’m walking with my mate Russ Green, the chief executive of the club, and members of the football family on the way. Why? Us Hartlepool fans have never been to Wembley, and this is our chance to take them there while supporting Prostate Cancer UK, the official charity partner of The Football League.
Tomorrow, while Burton Albion play Oldham, I will be on the sixth day of Prostate Cancer UK’s Men United March, missing from my usual spot on Soccer Saturday. I will be weaving my way through the Black Country canal paths alongside Matt Murray, Graham Turner, Ben Rowlings (Paralympian) and the rest of my Men United brethren.
You may have caught sight of me today as I checked in for a pit-stop at the Pirelli Stadium before finishing the day on the black and white side of the Trent to hit the march’s mid-way point.
I was joined today by dozens of Burton Albion fans and was met at the stadium by Nigel Clough and I thank them all for their support.
If you want to sponsor me and the other walkers, it’s not too late to do so – just visit www.menunitedmarch.org to find out how. We really appreciate all the fantastic support we’ve had so far and know a few blisters are nothing compared to the battle that those affected by prostate cancer face.
Prostate Cancer UK should be a charity close to every man’s heart because we know, or we should know, just how vulnerable we are. I like my statistics – but the ones I’m dealing with here are shocking. One in eight men will get prostate cancer, and one in four if you are black, it’s a scary thought.
Within the next ten years Prostate Cancer UK believes they will find the answers to ensure the disease is something men and their loved ones no longer fear. I’ve met the scientists who pledge to do this and I can see how dedicated they are. So the idea of doing something ten times came from there.
Two hundred and sixty miles from Victoria Park, home of Hartlepool United, to Wembley Stadium, divided by ten; twenty six miles. The distance of a marathon. 10 marathons in 10 days. It just all fell into place like a jigsaw really.
I’ve got friends and colleagues, people that the public know, Bill Arthur and Eddie Hemmings both big rugby league men who I have known longer than I care to remember. As is Boro fan Robin Millman who I met recently, who, in his own words “keeps getting hit on the nose by prostate cancer but keeps getting back up again”. All great guys who’ve suffered from prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is not discerning, but it can be treated if caught soon enough. It doesn’t just hit the bad guys; it’s the good guys as well, like Bill, Eddie and Robin.
To get involved or find out more visit MenUnitedMarch.org
Watch highlights of today’s march with pictures from Richard Holmes and videos from Nigel Powlson