Tony Mowbray has joined forces with a host of top football managers to give the most vital team talks of their careers, after chilling statistics showed prostate cancer kills one man every 45 minutes.
The Rovers boss and Premier League chiefs Rafa Benitez, Sean Dyche, Mark Hughes, Slaven Bilic, Chris Hughton and Craig Shakespeare have teamed up with their contemporaries from the EFL, League Manager’s Association and Prostate Cancer UK.
Together, they are condemning the deadly disease in a series of passionate – and life-saving – messages as part of a high-profile campaign to tackle the most common cancer in men.
Shocking figures show that two men will die during the length of a football match, reinforcing the need to take action now against the disease.
As well as speaking out about the issue, football managers will be wearing Prostate Cancer UK’s iconic ‘Man of Men’ pin badge on the touchline throughout the 2017-18 campaign.
Mowbray said: "It's brilliant to see managers wearing the Prostate Cancer UK Man of Men pin badge on the touchline and I'm proud to lend my support to this great campaign and rally the Rovers fans.
"The message is stark; one man dies every 45 minutes from this disease. That's two every game. We have to turn that around.
"Looking around Ewood Park and thinking this disease will affect one in eight men is harrowing, but by raising awareness and doing great things like cycling, running and walking, and donating generously on matchdays, you can shape a better future for men and their loved ones."
Mowbray is among more than 30 managers to pledge his support across the football landscape.
Prostate Cancer UK is the long-term Charity Partner of the EFL and is also a proud partner of the LMA, allowing the charity access to football clubs, managers, players and supporters.
Their ground-breaking Football to Amsterdam bike ride, supported by the EFL, has raised more than £1.7m in the past five years.
What’s more, since the 2014-15 campaign, Prostate Cancer UK’s distinctive ‘Man of Men’ symbol has been included on every single player’s kit as part of his individual squad number – the first time ever that a charity’s logo has been included by a domestic league on every player’s strip. Within each and every number will be the charity’s iconic logo, symbolising everyone who wants to stop prostate cancer becoming a killer.
Angela Culhane, Chief Executive of Prostate Cancer UK, said: “For many years now Prostate Cancer UK has teamed up with the football family and seeing so many managers proudly wearing our Man of Men pin badge sends out a really passionate message about what we stand for.
“These managers deliver crucial team talks every matchday and we are proud to stand side by side with them against the deadliest opponent of all, prostate cancer.
“One man dies from prostate cancer every 45 minutes; it’s the most common cancer in men, but we can turn it around.
“From the Premier League and our ground-breaking partnership with the EFL to the grassroots game and some legendary names, football has proved to be an incredibly effective way of driving home our messages in a variety of ways to fans, players and club officials, many of whom previously had no idea about the dangers of the disease.
“We thank all the managers, clubs and supporters for their continued support; for marching for men, for cycling to Amsterdam, for collecting on matchdays and for sporting our iconic badge. United against prostate cancer, we can make this disease something the next generation of men need not fear.”
The substantial sums raised by fundraising such as Football to Amsterdam and Jeff Stelling’s March for Men will help ‘shift the science’ and crack the three core issues of diagnosis, treatment and prevention, which have been left unsolved for too long. It will also help provide support and information to those affected by the disease.
Many people are unaware that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It’s a huge issue that cannot be ignored. One man will die from prostate cancer every 45 minutes in the UK. That’s over 11,000 men a year. Based on current trends, if we ignore prostate cancer and do nothing, this number will rise to over 14,500 men a year by 2026.
To show your support and get a Prostate Cancer UK ‘Man of Men’ pin badge to wear with pride, text BADGE to 70004 to donate £5* and help stop prostate cancer being a killer. For information about the badge and the charity’s work in football visit prostatecanceruk.org/whostheman
* Text costs £5 plus network charge. Prostate Cancer UK receives 100% of your donation. Obtain bill payers permission. Customer care 0800 082 1616. Charity No 1005541.