MARCH FOR MEN: Jeff Stelling marathons
Television legend Jeff Stelling continued his fourth March for Men challenge for Prostate Cancer UK in Yorkshire on Tuesday, with the intrepid presenter marching from Harrogate Town to Leeds United.
The long-serving Soccer Saturday host tackled 26 miles on foot, joined by an army of 100 walkers as he trekked from the League Two side’s EnviroVent Stadium to Elland Road, with a poignant stop at Kirk Deighton Rangers AFC in Wetherby along the way.
The club was home to Yorkshireman Lloyd Pinder, who sadly died of the disease last year after striking up a firm friendship with Stelling after meeting him on his first marathon march. Among those walking in Lloyd’s memory was his wife, Tina, and family, and Jeff’s Soccer Saturday colleague Chris Kamara and former panellist, Charlie Nicholas.
At Headingley Stadium the walkers were met by a group of cyclists from Lloyd’s former employer, Club Insure, who will take on their own fundraising challenge later in September, cycling coast to coast for Prostate Cancer UK.
Jeff then continued to Merseyside before his March for Men finishes up in London on September 4th, by which time he would have walked 100 miles in a week.
Jeff said: “Covid has had a horrific impact on lives across the UK, but prostate cancer has not gone away. In fact it’s now more important than ever that we support men and their loved ones.
“One in eight men in the UK will get prostate cancer in their lifetime. I deal in stats, but that one still shocks me. This is our Dads, partners, brothers, grandads, uncles and friends.
“That’s why I wear the Prostate Cancer UK ‘Man of Men’ badge and that’s why we’re marching across the UK for a fourth time, helping raise more than £1m for crucial research to beat prostate cancer.”
Thousands of supporters have joined Jeff in the past as he marched from Hartlepool to Wembley in 2016; Exeter to Newcastle in 2017 and all four UK nations in four days in 2019.
Among those walkers was Yorkshireman and huge Sunderland supporter Lloyd Pinder, who joined Jeff on his first ever walk in 2016, and was there to meet him at the finish line at Tottenham Hotspur in 2019, alongside former Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and England goalkeeper Ray Clemence, father of current Newcastle coach Stephen. Both men died last year.
Jeff added: “So much has changed since the end of my last walk in 2019. Two great friends met me on the finish line that day, are both sadly no longer with us, both victims of prostate cancer.
“Last year, we lost the great Ray Clemence to prostate cancer. A terrific goalkeeper and a terrific human being.
“I also lost my mate, Lloyd Pinder, to the disease a few months earlier. I met him on the second day of my very first march for Prostate Cancer UK up in Yorkshire. This highlights once more what an indiscriminate disease this is, and it’s for men like Lloyd and Ray, their families and everyone affected by prostate cancer that we march again.”
Prostate Cancer UK Chief Executive Angela Culhane, who has walked more than 180 miles alongside Stelling across his previous three March for Men events, and is joining him again this year, said: “Since 2016 Jeff has selflessly pushed himself to the absolute limit to aid our quest to make prostate cancer a disease that no longer wrecks lives, and we’re delighted that he’s spearheading another epic walking challenge.
“Thanks to Jeff and thousands of others who have embraced these mega marches, we have raised a game-changing sum of money and made massive progress in our goal to fund better research which will ultimately save more lives.
“Lloyd Pinder and Ray Clemence are just two examples of those that have helped greatly in that time. Two men with totally different backgrounds, but one underlying connection, prostate cancer. I remember meeting both at the finish line in September 2019. They were part of the fabric of Prostate Cancer UK, and we were all devastated to lose them both to this disease last year.
“We want to see a world where men’s lives are not limited by prostate cancer and we know men and their loved ones feel the same. Together we can stop men dying, and we thank Jeff and the football community for marching once more and helping us achieve that goal.”
When the future is uncertain and the choices are tough, we stand for men with prostate cancer, and funds raised by our supporters will help shape that pioneering research that will help us change the game for men.
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