Football club staff to tackle daily challenge as ‘Prostate United’ fundraiser returns for fifth year
Football club staff from across the UK are uniting once again this November to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK by taking on a mammoth fitness challenge.
‘Prostate United’, a month-long fundraising effort created by Rotherham United’s Stephen Gilpin and Ross Burbeary of Lincoln City, has seen hundreds of football club staff run or cycle every day each November since 2018 to raise funds in the fight against a disease that kills one man every 45 minutes.
Since its inception as a two-man challenge four years ago, Prostate United has branched out into the sporting landscape, with participants running or cycling at clubs across the English football pyramid, Scotland and the USA – as well as rugby league and ice hockey club staff – raising more than £280,000 for Prostate Cancer UK.
To support the Prostate United 2022 squad, visit justgiving.com/campaign/prostateunited2022.
Participants have the option to choose a daily distance to run or cycle – either 10km, 5km or 3km on foot, or 25km, 15km or 10km on the bike. More than 300 staff members from more than 50 clubs, including Premier League stalwarts Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers, have pledged to run or cycle every day this November.
This year’s instalment has even seen a squad of managers involved, including Peterborough United’s Grant McCann, Paul Heckingbottom of Sheffield United, Derby County’s Paul Warne, Bradford City’s Mark Hughes and Southend United’s Kevin Maher.
The challenge is the brainchild of Gilpin and Burbeary, who were first inspired to lace up their running boots following the death of Stephen’s grandfather, Norman, from prostate cancer. The duo have clocked up over 740 miles since 2018 and continued their support in October by running the TCS London Marathon for Prostate Cancer UK.
Stephen said: “Prostate United has grown over the past four years beyond our wildest expectation. We feel as a collective now that November has a unique place on the football calendar where we come together as the Prostate United family to raise awareness and much-needed funds for Prostate Cancer UK.
“Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and knowing that has certainly drove us all on over the years. We’re delighted that the football family is coming together once more for a fantastic charity that’s close to my heart.”
Ross said: “To have raised nearly a quarter of a million pounds in four years is incredible and we couldn’t have done this without the involvement of the football family. Each year more and more people have represented their clubs, with over 300 runners and riders taking part in last year alone – and this year we’re hoping we can go even bigger.”
Nicola Tallett, Director of Fundraising and Supporter Engagement at Prostate Cancer UK said: “Prostate United has really captured the imagination over the years, and it’s been fantastic to see the football family coming together again in support of men affected by prostate cancer and their families.
“To run or cycle every day for a month is no mean feat – especially considering the busy schedules of their clubs – so we’re incredibly grateful for the support of the Prostate United team.
“The funds raised by Stephen, Ross and every club and individual involved will be invested into research into better tests and treatments to stop prostate cancer being a killer. We thank the Prostate United team for their wonderful support and wish them all the best for November.”
To donate, visit justgiving.com/campaign/prostateunited2022.
To find out more information about Prostate Cancer UK’s work in football click HERE or anyone with concerns about prostate cancer may contact Prostate Cancer UK’s Specialist Nurses in confidence on 0800 074 8383 or online via the Live Chat instant messaging service: www.prostatecanceruk.org. The Specialist Nurse phone service is free to landlines and open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 8pm on Wednesdays.
And to help men find out whether they are at increased risk of developing the disease, Prostate Cancer UK has launched an online risk checker, available at prostatecanceruk.org/riskcheck where men can check their own risk in 30 seconds.