Intrepid television presenter Jeff Stelling will embark on an epic charity walk in March to help tame prostate cancer.
Teaming up with leading men’s health organisation Prostate Cancer UK, the long-standing Soccer Saturday host will complete 10 walking marathons in 10 days, from boyhood club Hartlepool United to Wembley between March 21-30.
Clocking in at more than 250 miles, Jeff’s Men United March - menunitedmarch.org - will see the 60-year-old check in on 31 football clubs and he will be joined every step of the way by close friend, and Hartlepool United Chief Executive, Russ Green.
Setting off from Victoria Park, home of the League Two club, the duo will head south to Wembley Stadium connected by EE, a place Pools have never been.
En route, he will be joined by famous friends and colleagues and people affected by prostate cancer.
He launched the Men United March live on Soccer Saturday this weekend, at the end of a first person piece on the fortunes of his beloved Hartlepool, the first time he has ever filed a report for the show.
Jeff said: “I deal in statistics – but the ones we are dealing with here are shocking. One man dies every hour from this disease, that’s six in the course of Soccer Saturday every week. One in eight men will get prostate cancer, and for black men the odds are even worse at one in four.
“Prostate cancer is not discerning. It doesn’t just hit the bad guys; it’s the good guys as well. I’ve got friends such as Sky Sports rugby league colleagues Bill Arthur and Eddie Hemmings who I have known longer than I care to remember. Both are great guys who have been affected by prostate cancer and I’ll be meeting more men like them along the way.
“That’s why I’ve signed up for this challenge. I’ve run marathons and climbed Kilimanjaro. There were also some nice fundraising opportunities to go and walk on the Great Wall of China or maybe go to Peru, but they sounded too much like jollies to me. I wanted to do something where people could see I was feeling the pain on behalf of a fantastic cause.
“Within the next ten years Prostate Cancer UK believes they will find the answers to make this disease something men and their loved ones no longer fear. I’ve met the scientists who pledge to do this and I can see how dedicated they are. But do to this we need to raise vital funds – and I need everyone to support me and all the men affected by prostate cancer by visiting menunitedmarch.org and pledging their support.”
Prostate Cancer UK is the Official Charity Partner of The Football League and 25 clubs are represented along the route, through the heartlands of England. He will arrive at Burton Albion on Good Friday (March 25th) and walk onto the pitch ahead of the Brewers’ League One clash with Oldham Athletic.
Stelling will also stop off at five Premier League clubs as well as Non-League side St Albans City before an emotional finale along Wembley Way on March 30th.
Angela Culhane, Chief Executive of Prostate Cancer UK, said: “Jeff’s been a huge supporter of ours for many years, and has seen first hand the dangers of this disease through some of his closest friends in the business, and we are fully behind him on his epic Men United March.
“Walking 10 marathons in 10 days is a remarkable challenge. With each and every step Jeff and those who support him will help us as we tackle prostate cancer head on.
“The power of football consistently helps us reach out to men. We are very grateful for the continued backing from Jeff’s colleagues at Sky as well in allowing him to take this on.
“This challenge is once again a perfect example of what we call Men United; people getting together and doing something great to beat prostate cancer. On behalf of everyone affected by this disease I say thanks, and in the words of his long-time colleague Chris Kamara, it’s ‘Unbelievable Jeff’.”
To support Jeff, and find out more about his challenge, visit menunitedmarch.org.
Jeff, his entourage, and the Sky Sports cameras will be at Meadow Lane on Friday, March 25th around 6.30pm. Supporters are invited to welcome them on their arrival when you'll then be able to mingle in the Wheelers Suite. For more information, stay tuned to our official channels of course!