Football giants support Cancer Research drive

Cancer Research UK has persuaded three of the biggest names in football to back its Man Alive campaign in an effort to raise awareness about the prevalence of prostate and bowel cancer among older men.

Former England manager and Newcastle United boss Sir Bobby Robson has joined forces with Manchester United and Arsenal rivals Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger in an unprecedented show of support for the campaign, which is also endorsed by Sir Cliff Richard, Harry Hill and Frankie Dettori.

Former Busby Babe and Manchester United legend Denis Law, 63, has also lent his backing to the campaign after recently undergoing successful treatment for prostate cancer.

This year’s Man Alive will start on 10 May with a wider focus on cancers that predominantly affect British men aged over 50.

For the first time, the charity is targeting women’s magazines with case studies and information about the campaign, as well as sports editors in the national and regional press.

‘Studies show that men are often reluctant to make an appointment to see their doctor when faced with warning signs of cancer,’ said Cancer Research UK PRO Martin McGlown, who has been working on the project with fellow PRO Sarah Moore.

‘Robson admits that he owes his life to his wife Elsie who nagged him to see a doctor in 1995 after he had been suffering with sinus problems. Days later he was diagnosed with malignant melanoma,’ McGlown said.

The celebrity backers will write letters to editors in a drive to propel the campaign’s profile.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting men in the UK, accounting for more than 9,900 deaths each year, according to Cancer Research.

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