Prostate Cancer UK - the Official Charity Partner of The Football League - have kicked off the new season by setting up a new team, Men United, to fight a deadly opposition.
With prostate cancer affecting one in eight men in the UK and the death rate increasing at an alarming rate, Prostate Cancer UK aims to reach millions of fans, players and staff, by raising awareness of prostate cancer and encouraging men to wise up to the disease and take action.
Men United versus Prostate Cancer aims to unite the football community and create a new movement for change in men's health. During the season ahead, The Football League will champion the work of the official charity partner by promoting key services for men and highlighting joint fundraising efforts across the season.
Greg Clarke, Chairman of The Football League, said: "I am delighted that Prostate Cancer UK remain the official charity partner of The Football League into season 2013/14. I am extremely proud with the work we have achieved so far to raise awareness of this terrible disease, however, with a similar death rate to breast cancer - the most common female cancer, more work is needed to put prostate cancer firmly on the radar.
"We believe that men deserve better and that is why we are fully committed to helping break down the taboo surrounding prostate cancer to wake men up to the killer disease. We urge the football community and our supporters to join us in supporting Men United v Prostate Cancer - together we can make a real difference to men's health for the future.
"Football isn't just about the 90 minutes of play and picking up three points, it also plays an important part of the communities we live in. We have a responsibility to our fans both on and off the park and this is why I'm signing for Prostate Cancer UK's 'Men United' campaign.
"Men tend not to open up about difficult health matters, preferring to talk about the weekend result instead. The fact is that as we all get older the prostate can become a problem, so we all need to face up it and be aware of the risks. With the disease killing one man every hour - we can't afford to ignore this any longer. Today we call on Football League fans to join us by supporting Men United v prostate Cancer - together we can win this battle."
Throughout the season The Football League will support Prostate Cancer UK by providing regular information on their website, supporting their membership clubs with a matchday bucket collection and take part in the end of season London to Amsterdam fundraising cycle.
Mark Bishop, Director of Fundraising, said: "Every hour one man dies from prostate cancer, but still too few men talk about their health. It's fantastic to be working with The Football League - the partnership is delivering good work and will continue to allow us to reach football communities across England and Wales, to wake men up to the disease which affects one in eight men in the UK.
"I am delighted that we have agreed to work with The Football League for three years and that they have joined Men United. I look forward to working with all 72 clubs in the seasons ahead. With the disease rising at an alarming rate, it's urgent that we take action by raising our game in the battle against prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer UK is committed to developing a movement for change in men's health - together with men of all ages across the football terraces of the UK, we can encourage men to wise up to the killer disease and understand the risk."
Visit www.prostatecanceruk.org/football for all the latest news from the Official Charity Partnership of The Football League.
If you have concerns about prostate cancer, call Prostate Cancer UK's confidential Helpline on 0800 074 8383 or visit www.prostatecanceruk.org. The helpline is free to landlines, staffed by specialist nurses, and open from 9am to 5pm on Monday to Friday and from 7am to 9pm on Wednesdays.