Soccer Saturday star Jeff Stelling on the march for cancer charity
One of the most familiar faces in sport has been pounding the pavements of Lancashire to raise money for the Prostate Cancer charity.
Jeff Stelling, best known as the face, and voice, of Soccer Saturday on Sky Sports is on a marathon mission walking between England's football grounds.
The March for Men, supporting Prostate Cancer UK, has the aim of raising Â£500,000.
His 400 mile mission takes Jeff from St James' Park, home of Exeter City to St James' Park home of Newcastle United.
Leg nine of the journey took the TV star, and a large group of fellow walkers from Ewood Park, home of Blackburn Rovers via Deepdale in Preston to Blackpool's home at Bloomfield Road.
At Deepdale Jeff stopped to greet fans before pressing on with his walk, ending in the rain at Blackpool FC.
And this morning Jeff picked up the pace, departing Fleetwood Town's Highbury home bound for Morecambe's Globe Arena.
The route is taking him through Knott End, Pilling, Cockerham and Glasson before the final leg from Lancaster to the home of the Shrimps.
Stelling said: “I’m grateful to the people of Blackburn, Preston and Blackpool who came out to support me today as we raise vital awareness and funds for Prostate Cancer UK.
Jeff said: “Prostate cancer kills one man every hour in the UK, and I just decided I couldn’t sit on my backside and do nothing about it. I can put one foot in front of the next and hopefully raise awareness and raise funds to help men beat this diabolical disease.
“This year’s route gives us an opportunity to go to parts of the country that we’ve not been to before and to spread the word to people who maybe didn’t hear that message as loudly last time round.
"So starting down at Blackburn Rovers, via Preston North End and ending at Blackpool FC and then on to Morecambe we are heading north relentlessly and ending in St James’ Park, Newcastle one of the great football grounds, where I know we will get a fantastic welcome from all Geordies.”
Prostate Cancer UK Chief Executive Angela Culhane, who has so far completed two days of the March this year, said: "After his heroic efforts last year, which raised a huge amount of awareness not to mention vital funds in the fight against this deadly disease, I’m proud and delighted Jeff Stelling is embarking on his second March for Men for Prostate Cancer UK.
“After his ‘unbelievable’ walk to Wembley last year, this time round we will be visiting different areas of the country and some legendary football clubs as Jeff continues to spread the word – and of course he will be bringing some big names along. The fact our wonderful walkers are able to stroll side by side with household names from sport, show business and politics establishes this as a charity walk like no other. We look forward to meeting more inspirational people along the way.
“Ignoring prostate cancer will not beat it. But Jeff’s epic efforts have helped wake men up to the need to take action. Thanks to the money raised to date, we can fund more ground-breaking research to fight back against the disease. It will also help us provide dedicated support and information to men and their families and make prostate cancer a disease the next generation of men need not fear.”
Jeff’s journey will see him visit more than 40 football clubs, heading up the west of England via Bristol and Stoke and through the northern footballing hotbeds of Merseyside and Manchester, before cutting across the country and ending at the home of Championship high flyers Newcastle. Of course, his boyhood club, Hartlepool United will be en route and he will also start the final day at Durham County Cricket Club.
More than 5,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in the North West and the money raised will have a huge impact on the lives of those affected by the disease and will help bring us one step closer to stopping prostate cancer being a killer.