Prostate Cancer UK’s relationship with the English Football League (EFL) will continue this season as the two parties this week agreed a two year extension until 2018.
The men’s health charity has been affiliated with the EFL since 2012, and has served as Official Charity Partner of the EFL from the 2013/14 campaign, with the two organisations working together to raise vital awareness of a disease that affects one in eight men in the UK and raised over £2 million to date for vital research.
And for the third successive season the official logo of Prostate Cancer UK will be worn more than 60,000 times on players’ shirts in the Sky Bet EFL next season, following a unique agreement between the EFL and its Official Charity Partner.
From the beginning of 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.
Supporters of all 72 Football League clubs will also have the opportunity to purchase the branded numbers to accompany the replica shirts ahead of the 2016/17 season as managers continue to wear the Prostate Cancer UK pin badge on touchlines up and down the land.
Prostate Cancer UK has also teamed up with a host of different clubs across a host of events up and down the country during the partnership with supporters digging deep during 230 Men United matchday collections including the five seasonal Wembley finals.
Prostate Cancer UK took the EFL’s annual end of season cycling fundraiser, Football to Amsterdam to new heights from 3-5 June this year as a record-breaking field of 350 riders raised around £500,000, swelling the overall pot since the event’s inception to seven figures, while Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling passed through 32 clubs, including 24 currently playing in the EFL, on his Men United March, adding more than £415,000.
A host of EFL clubs have also gone the extra mile during the partnership, and in honour of the efforts of Hartlepool’s most famous fan Stelling and former Pools Chief Executive Russ Green, Hartlepool United this week opened up the Prostate Cancer UK Stand at the Northern Gas and Power Stadium.
Millwall and Scunthorpe United have both had the Prostate Cancer UK logo emblazoned across their home and away shirts for a season, while for one night only on March 24, 2015, Luton Town hosted Wycombe Wanderers at the Prostate Cancer UK Stadium.
There was also a branded away stand at York City’s Bootham Crescent while Burton Albion have promoted prostate cancer awareness and Nottingham Forest have sold charity merchandise in their club superstore.
Money raised from the partnership between Prostate Cancer UK and the EFL 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.
Prostate Cancer UK Chief Executive Angela Culhane said: “Over the past four years our relationship with the EFL has gone from strength to strength and we’re delighted to have extended our partnership with them for a further two seasons.
“One man every hour dies from prostate cancer; it’s the most common cancer in men, and football has proved to be an amazingly effective way of driving home our messages in a variety of ways to fans, players and club officials, many of whom had no idea about the dangers of the disease.
“We’re proud to have the Prostate Cancer UK ‘Man of Men’ logo on the back of each and every EFL player’s shirt, and that managers wear our pin badge on touchlines across the UK. We have also been blown away by the generosity of supporters at our matchdays up and down the country.
“Ignoring prostate cancer will not beat it. But this partnership has helped to wake men up to the need to take action. Thanks to the money raised as a result, we can fund more ground-breaking research to fight back against the disease.
“It will also help us provide dedicated support and information to men and their families. United against prostate cancer, we can make it a disease the next generation of men need not fear.”
Many people are unaware that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It’s a huge issue that cannot be ignored. In 2016 one man an hour will die from prostate cancer in the UK. That’s 10,900 men this 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.
People are urged to search Men United and join the fight.
Shaun Harvey, Chief Executive of the EFL said: “Following the inception of this charity partnership four years ago, fans across EFL clubs have shown a real sense of togetherness and have helped raise millions for the vital work Prostate Cancer UK does in our communities.
“We’re immensely proud of that work and delighted to be working alongside the Prostate Cancer UK team once again as we all continue to raise funds and much needed awareness in the ongoing fight to stop prostate cancer becoming a killer.
“And as part of our ongoing commitment to raising profile for the campaign, all of our players will continue to wear the now iconic Prostate Cancer UK logo on their shirts in every EFL fixture, a first for football when it was introduced two years ago.
“The events and activities that took place under the League banner throughout last season were nothing short of remarkable. Many hundreds of people deserve enormous credit for the extraordinary lengths they went to get involved. It made a real difference. Exciting plans are in place for the 2016/17 season and I have no doubt that the EFL, its clubs and fans will raise the bar once again.”