Between March 2nd-16th, The Football League is pledging to support Prostate Cancer UK's Sledgehammer Fund and Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
Football League clubs across the country will be supporting the cause with special activities at home matches over the next two weeks. The activity is part of their contribution to a season saving men's lives in support of The Football League's Official Charity Partnership for Season 2012/13.
The Sledgehammer Fund aims to wake up the nation to a disease that kills 10,000 men every year. That's one man every hour, and the number of men with the disease is rising at an alarming rate.
While it is already the most common cancer in men, prostate cancer is predicted to become the most common cancer of all in the UK by 2030. It's as big an issue for men as breast cancer is for women — yet prostate cancer gets just a fraction of the money for research.
The disease is poorly understood, the tests aren't good enough, and the treatments can have life-changing side effects. The prostate is approximately the size and shape of a walnut, and Prostate Cancer UK needs a huge sledgehammer to crack it
Mark Bishop, Director of Fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, said: "We are delighted that clubs are supporting us to help raise awareness of prostate cancer. Between the time it takes for a football fan to walk through the turnstiles, watch the match, get a burger at half time and leave the ground, two men would have died from prostate cancer somewhere in the UK.
"On the day our team of volunteers will be out on force shaking buckets outside the grounds. All funds raised from the day will be ploughed back and invested into crucial medical research and our support services, so that we can help even more people affected by this disease."
Greg Clarke, Chairman of The Football League, said: "Prostate Cancer affects hundreds of thousands of people across the UK every single day and I'm proud that all 72 Football League clubs have united behind a season saving men's lives.
"I would encourage fans to get involved with fundraising and make a difference to the lives of thousands of men across the country."
Players, staff and fans of the 72 Football League clubs are helping more men survive prostate cancer and enjoy a better quality of life, between March 2nd-16th, by staging special matchday focused activity to raise awareness and money of and for the services of Prostate Cancer UK.
Fans can find information in match day programmes, on club websites, TV adverts on club's big screens and read all about the partnership in the Prostate Cancer UK fanzine. Fans will be able to donate via a bucket collection, the website or by texting CRACK to 70004 to donate £5* to the Sledgehammer Fund. For further information visit www.prostatecanceruk.org/football.
Football fans are also being encouraged to represent their club and sign up for the Prostate Cancer UK Total Football Cycle. The challenge will see fans, players and club officials from across The Football League take to the saddle for a unique two-day 'Total Football' themed, 155-mile challenge from London to Amsterdam, for the 250,000 men living with prostate cancer across the UK.
Former England, Watford and AC Milan Striker, Luther Blissett, who has already signed up for the London to Amsterdam ride as part of Prostate Cancer UK's team, said: "I am thrilled to be taking on the London to Amsterdam ride in support of Prostate Cancer UK and its Official Charity Partnership with The Football League. It will be a great experience as fans from across The League will join forces on their bikes to raise thousands of pounds to help the charity support the 250,000 UK men living with prostate cancer - that's enough to fill Wembley Stadium three times over.
"Rivalry between clubs can be fierce, and although this isn't meant to be a race, I am sure there'll be a sprint to reach the finish line, but we'll definitely be all on the same team when it comes to raising awareness and funds for prostate cancer."
Fans can find more details and sign up at www.prostatecanceruk.org/amsterdam to represent their club for the London-Amsterdam cycling challenge. Prostate Cancer UK asks cyclists to raise a minimum of £1,000. The registration fee is £149. Spaces are limited to 20 places per club.
For all the latest news on Prostate Cancer UK, The Football League's Official Charity Partner for the 2012/13 season, please click here