Molineux will provide the final destination of Prostate Cancer UK’s epic marathon in September, which will tour five West Midlands sport stadiums in one day.
Prostate Cancer UK are once again hosting a series of marches this September as the football community unites against the most common cancer in men – and the event will return to the West Midlands on 24th September.
For a sixth time, the leading men’s health charity will visit football hotbeds and iconic venues across the nation and is calling on fans to join four 26.2-mile walks across Greater Manchester, the South Coast, the West Midlands and London.
Prostate cancer affects one in eight men in the UK. That’s thousands of dads, grandads, partners, brothers, uncles, sons and mates. By taking part in a football march and raising money, supporters will help fund lifesaving research into earlier prostate cancer diagnosis, better treatment and essential support services.
You can sign up to take part now at prostatecanceruk.org.
The march starts on Thursday 22nd September where fans can make their way up the football pyramid by walking from National League Altrincham FC to the home of Premier League champions Manchester City. The Greater Manchester route also takes on League Two newcomers Stockport County, Salford City, not to mention a visit to Old Trafford, home of Manchester United.
The second day (Friday 23rd September) sees the march head to the South Coast for the first time, with a route between fierce rivals Portsmouth and Southampton. The road from Fratton Park to St Mary’s will also take in National League Eastleigh FC.
On Saturday 24th September the walkers are in the West Midlands kicking off at Birmingham City’s St Andrew’s, and the first stint takes them to Edgbaston Stadium, home of Warwickshire CCC. They then head to Aston Villa and from Villa Park the route visits Walsall, who despite being in League Two action that afternoon, will offer the penultimate stop of the day. The route continues across the Black Country and finishes at Molineux, home of Wolves. It’s the reverse route of Jeff Stelling’s March for Men in the region in 2016.
London hosts the finale on Sunday 25th September where AFC Wimbledon’s Plough Lane ground kicks off a day that will end at Millwall FC, long-time charity partner and the first club to wear the Prostate Cancer UK logo on their shirts back in 2013/14. The walkers will also stop off at Premier League newcomers Fulham, and there will be other high-profile club stops along the way.
Since 2016, over 2,000 football fans, supporters and personalities have marched across the UK for Prostate Cancer UK, visiting more than 100 clubs and raising in excess of £1.6m.
Led by Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling, walkers marched from Hartlepool to Wembley in 2016; Exeter to Newcastle in 2017, and all four UK nations in four days in 2019. Last season’s amble saw marches join the Soccer Saturday host in the North East, Yorkshire, Merseyside and London.
Stelling said: “Unbelievable. That’s how I’d describe Prostate Cancer UK’s football marches. It’s brilliant to see them continuing their football marching legacy later this year and I’d wholeheartedly recommend getting involved with this brilliant charity across four football hotbeds. Your feet might tell you differently on the day, but I promise you won’t regret it. It’s a terrific event with terrific people, and you’ll get to visit some great football clubs too. Plus, you will be doing your bit to help beat prostate cancer.
“Sadly, other commitments mean I’ll be unable to walk this year, and although my feet will thank me, I’ll miss marching alongside so many inspiring people. I will be watching on from afar and wish everyone taking part the best of luck.”
There are 36,139 men living with prostate cancer in the West Midlands, and for one of them, Aston Villa fan Brian Harrison, who will be taking on his fifth football march, having joined Stelling several times previously, his walking story has now gone full circle.
He said: “It’s fantastic that the Football March has returned to the West Midlands and I’m really looking forward to meeting up with friends old and new on the road to the Black Country.
“It’s also fitting that the end of the day is Wolverhampton Wanderers too, as it was at Molineux that it all started for me, when taking part in my first march, and it’s fair to say I got the bug. That initial march was an absolutely brilliant experience, the people I met were fantastic and that’s why I keep coming back and supporting this brilliant charity. It’s been great to see the event grow and I’m grateful to have walked side by side with so many people, famous faces and men, like me, who have been affected by this awful disease. We may all wear different club shirts, but are bonded by Prostate Cancer UK’s ‘Man of Men’ pin badges.
“This is not just a 26.2-mile journey, though, far from it. You’ll feel inspired and heartbroken at times, your feet will hurt, but you’ll be ultimately proud to have achieved something great.
“My own diagnosis came out of the blue, after a chance conversation with my pharmacist. I’m so happy I had that chat, but it shouldn’t be left to chance. That’s why I’m so happy to continue to raise funds and awareness for Prostate Cancer UK and thank everyone who will do the same this September. That money will help the charity in their ultimate aim to fund a better test and ensure future generations don’t suffer like my family did.”
Prostate Cancer UK chief executive Laura Kerby said: “Since 2016 our football-themed walks across the UK have seen supporters, clubs and football personalities unite brilliantly against the deadliest opponent of all, prostate cancer.
“One man dies every 45 minutes from prostate cancer; it’s the most common cancer in men. But everyone who has embraced these mega marches, including the brilliant Jeff Stelling, has allowed us to raise a game-changing sum of money and make massive progress in our goal to make this a disease that men and their families no longer fear.
“Football is a force for good and plays a fantastic role in bringing people together for a common cause. I’ve heard so many stories, both inspirational and heart-breaking about the thousands that have joined us, and I’m looking forward to pulling my walking boots on this year.
“In Greater Manchester, on the South Coast, across the West Midlands and through London, we will continue to proudly walk side by side in our ultimate quest, to fund more ground-breaking research and work towards a screening programme, to catch prostate cancer early and save lives. Together, we can beat prostate cancer.”
Sign up for The Football March at prostatecanceruk.org.