Teams in the Football League will play the numbers game in support of Prostate Cancer UK during the 2014/15 campaign.
The official logo of Prostate Cancer UK will be worn more than 60,000 times on players’ shirts in the Sky Bet Football League next season, following a unique agreement between The Football League and its Official Charity Partner.
From the beginning of the 2014/15 campaign, Prostate Cancer UK’s distinctive Man of Men symbol will be included on every single player’s kit as part of his individual squad number – the first time ever that a charity’s logo has been included by a domestic league on every player’s strip. The Football League received approval for its initiative from the FA Council earlier this week.
Within each and every number will be the charity’s iconic image, the Man of Men, symbolising men of all walks of life coming together in the UK.
Supporters of all 72 Football League clubs will also have the opportunity to purchase the branded numbers to accompany the replica shirts as the charity’s Men United v Prostate Cancer campaign gathers momentum.
Football League Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey said: “The Football League is delighted to make this extensive commitment to helping Prostate Cancer UK tackle one of the biggest threats to men’s health. Working together in this way will help save people’s lives.
“I hope it helps raise awareness of the important work they do and encourages more supporters to get a better understanding of the risk that prostate cancer poses.”
The pioneering partnership between Prostate Cancer UK and The Football League aims to reach over 16 million fans across the terraces up and down the country, raising awareness of the disease which affects 1 in 8 men sometime in their life and kills over 10,000 men a year.
This season for the first time ever, a new super team featuring football managers, players, fans and football club staff has joined arms as Men United to face prostate cancer head on by encouraging men everywhere to wise up to the disease and take action.
Managers have sported the charity’s ‘Man of Men’ pin badges on the sidelines, supporters up and down the country have dug deep at a succession of Men United match days while club staff have also been extensively promoting the campaign via media channels.
Prostate Cancer UK’s Director of Fundraising, Mark Bishop said: “There is an old phrase about safety in numbers when you face a common enemy, and Men United is all about men coming together to fight prostate cancer.
“As part of our Men United campaign we’ve been encouraging men right across the country to wear our badge to show their solidarity for men fighting prostate cancer. From next season every player in The Football League for every game will be wearing that same symbol and fans can be part of it by choosing to have numbers on their replica shirts.
“So every time a player or a fan pulls on a shirt with a number containing our Man of Men they are helping to save lives because they are raising awareness of an issue that for far too long has been hidden away. Every time you wear that shirt you will show your support for the 250,000 men living with prostate cancer and the 40,000 diagnosed with the disease each year.”
The Men United v Prostate Cancer campaign was launched at a breakfast briefing at The Football League HQ on January 24th with comedian Bill Bailey assuming the role of team manager.
Big names from the world of show business including Stephen Fry, Sir Michael Parkinson, Ray Winstone and Damian Lewis, together with England sporting icons Michael Owen, Les Ferdinand and Will Carling, have all signed up to Men United which has now got a squad of more than 170,000 members. To sign up all you need to do is do a simple online test.
If you have concerns about prostate cancer please 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 6pm Monday to Friday with late opening until 8pm on Wednesdays.