The PCA and The Prostate Cancer Charity say 'don't get caught out by prostate cancer' - 15/07/10
Former leading England cricketers have called on men across the UK not to 'get caught out by prostate cancer'.
Leading England cricketers have called on men across the UK not to ‘get caught out by prostate cancer'.
England cricket hero Dominic Cork was among players, past and present, from the sport who came together today in a bid to knock the disease for six.
"Prostate cancer affects so many families and it did mine. I hope that cricket will put prostate cancer at the front of men's minds and not let them be caught out by this disease before it's too late," he said.
Former England players Tim Munton and Dean Headley, and county players past and present, respectively Dudley Owen-Thomas and Michael Brown, joined Dominic and other guests at The Brit Insurance Oval today to launch the three-year partnership between The Prostate Cancer Charity and The Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA).
Former Surrey cricketer Dudley Owen-Thomas was deeply shocked when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006 and he urged all men to have regular health checks and be aware of prostate cancer.
He said: "I stopped getting regular health checks and suddenly I was having a major operation to remove my prostate. I didn't think prostate cancer would happen to me and it did.
"Don't take your eye off the ball because there's a good chance you'll be history - I was very lucky. We all need to be aware of this disease, it doesn't just happen to other people. "
Ex-Warwickshire bowler Tim Munton spoke about his father who died of prostate cancer. "I became aware of prostate cancer when my father was diagnosed with an aggressive form of the disease that was inoperable - he died three months ago.
"It's crucial that cricket supports The Prostate Cancer Charity and we make as many people as aware as possible that this is a disease that can kill and the more we know about it the better our chances of beating it."
Dean Headley, former England cricketer and cricket professional at Stamford School: "I wanted to support The Prostate Cancer Charity because of its huge link with my West Indian family background.
"Ever I since I learnt that African Caribbean men are three times more likely to get prostate cancer, I felt personally connected with this cause. Cricket, the players and the supporters, mirror the demographic of the people we need to make aware that prostate cancer is a disease we all need to know about. We have a duty of care as cricketers to look after each other."
The partnership between the Charity and the PCA is designed to urge men to be more aware of the disease to ensure that they 'don't get caught out by prostate cancer.' There are currently 250,000 men living with prostate cancer in the UK and 10,000 men die of the disease every year.
Former England captain and ECB Managing Director of Cricket Partnerships, Mike Gatting, also added his support for the new partnership, saying: "It's really good to see this partnership. We need to spread the word as far afield as possible on this ‘hidden disease'. Cricket reaches out across a huge number of the male population and is therefore well placed to do just that."
The Prostate Cancer Charity's Director of Fundraising, Mark Bishop, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be a charity partner of the Professional Cricketers Association and to be celebrating our partnership in true cricket style at the iconic Oval. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK and the sport typically attracts a large male following, so the partnership feels like a cricket match made in heaven. We are looking forward to working closely with the PCA to get more men thinking about their health so that they are not caught out by the disease."
Angus Porter, PCA CEO, commented: "We're very excited to be partnering with The Prostate Cancer Charity, not only to spread awareness throughout our own membership but to help bring the important messages to the general male population."
The Prostate Cancer Charity will be the PCA's charity partner for the next three years. As part of the partnership, the PCA is holding a Masters cricket event at the renowned Wormsley Cricket Ground on 12 August in aid of the Charity and the PCA Benevolent Fund, and a special fundraising day at an international match later in the year. Many county cricketers will also be taking part in Movember - the annual fundraiser where men grow moustaches to raise awareness of prostate cancer, which already has a huge following with the Australian team.
For further information contact: Claire Blackburn, Nikki Nagler or Vivienne Francis on 0208 222 7687 670/7136
For further information from the PCA, please contact Angus Porter on 07584 262 083.
If you have any queries about prostate cancer, call The Prostate Cancer Charity's confidential Helpline 0800 074 8383 which is staffed by specialist nurses and open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday and Wednesdays from 7 - 9pm or visit http://www.prostate-cancer.org.uk/