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Football League clubs saddle up in fight against prostate cancer

Press Release   •   Dec 13, 2013 09:00 GMT

Fans of [insert team here] are being called upon to join the ultimate World Cup warm-up by saddling up for a memorable bike ride from London to Amsterdam in support of Prostate Cancer UK – The Football League’s long-term Official Charity Partner.

England’s World Cup campaign has been set and less than a week before the tournament kicks off in Brazil, representatives from all 72 Football League clubs can join former England star Luther Blissett on the road to the Netherlands.

From The Matchroom Stadium (the home of Leyton Orient FC) to the heart of Amsterdam, riders will have plenty of time to reflect on their respective team’s campaigns, as well as looking forward to the upcoming feast of samba football.

[Team captain name] will lead the [team nickname] contingent, and by using pedal power to conquer the picturesque 150-mile challenge riders will be helping more men survive prostate cancer and enjoy a better quality of life.

One in eight men will be affected by prostate cancer and there are 250,000 men living with the disease in the UK, and [team captain] said: “I’m delighted to lead the [nickname] in this exciting adventure and at the same time raise money and awareness for an amazing cause.

“I’m calling on all [team name] supporters to join me in the peloton and wear their club colours with pride.”

The Grand Depart is in East London early on Friday, 6 June, from Leyton Orient’s Matchroom Stadium, heading out of London through rural English countryside, and stopping off at a second ground, Colchester United’s Weston Homes Community Stadium, for refreshments.

After completing the 90 mile sojourn to Harwich by dusk, the intrepid team cross the Channel overnight, before riding a further 60 miles across the flat landscape of Dutch Zeeland. The climax sees the peloton arrive in the country’s capital and its network of canals, cobbled streets and wonderful architecture.

There will be a chance to wind down and reflect on a notable effort, on Saturday night in the city centre before a less energy-sapping return to London, via Eurostar, after lunch the next day.

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, challenged more people to get involved, saying: “Get your World Cup fever on and ride to Amsterdam with me and a bunch of fantastic people from across The Football League.

“If last year was anything to go by we’re going to have a great time on the way and when we get there. Sign up, challenge yourself and raise money to support the 250,000 men living with prostate cancer in the UK.

Director of Fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, Mark Bishop added: "There’s been an excellent response from everyone who is helping make it possible within The Football League for what’s sure to be a really exciting and entertaining event.

“Our club captains have been busy building up their teams and it will be fantastic to see so many people saddling up for a serious test of cycling when they convene at Leyton Orient in June. The London to Amsterdam event is shaping up to be a key event on the calendar and we’re delighted to see Luther Blissett showing his support by joining the peloton.

“From East London to the heart of the Netherlands’ principle city, it’s the perfect warm-up to the World Cup as we promote and raise money for a hugely important cause.

“Prostate cancer kills one man every hour in the UK with one in eight men likely to be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their lifetime. We want to be there for men and continue the fight against this killer disease.”

Shaun Harvey, Chief Executive of The Football League, said: “The London-Amsterdam cycling challenge will provide a fitting culmination to a season during which The Football League and our member clubs have been working to increase awareness of prostate cancer and help raise funds. We hope the contribution it will make will help more men survive the disease and enjoy a better quality of life.

“Our annual end-of-season charity challenges have become experiences not to be missed and this one promises to be no different – I’d encourage any fan interested to sign up and represent their Football League club.”

Fans can find more details and sign up at 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 and spaces are unlimited.

To register for Prostate Cancer UK’s regular football newsletter packed full of all the latest Men United news and features by the finest football writers on the web visit prostatecanceruk.org/football. Sign up today to be in with the chance to win a pair of tickets to the Capital One Cup Final.

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.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact Gary Haines, Sports PR Manager at Prostate Cancer UK, on 020 3310 7079 or at gary.haines@prostatecanceruk.org.

Notes to Editors:

 About The Football League’s Official Charity Partnership with Prostate Cancer UK:

With 250,000 men – enough to fill Wembley Stadium three times over - living with the disease in the UK, the partnership will help to increase awareness of the disease and help raise funds so that more men survive it and enjoy a better quality of life.

Prostate Cancer UK – the Official Charity Partner of The Football League – aims to reach millions of football supporters through engagement activity across over 60 football grounds to raise awareness of the disease which now affects 1 in 8 men in the UK, that's a death rate of 10,000 deaths a year. As well as raising awareness of the disease, the official partnership will help to raise funds so that more men survive it and enjoy a better quality of life. Men United - aims to galvanise the football community and inspire a movement for change in men’s health to win the battle against prostate cancer once and for all.

Prostate Cancer UK will launch a range of fundraising and awareness activities across the season and supporters can receive exclusive football stories via a Men United e-newsletter. The partnership will stage a dedicated month of support in the second half of the season, where the charity will have a presence at over 60 grounds to help raise vital funds for prostate cancer. Finally, the Men United Hall of Fame will seek to showcase and award members of the football community for outstanding work undertaken on behalf of men’s health across the season.

About prostate cancer:

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men in the UK. Over 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. Every hour 1 man dies from prostate cancer.

One in 4 black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lifetime..

Prostate Cancer UK fights to help more men survive prostate cancer and enjoy a better quality of life. It funds research into causes and treatments and provides support and information.