Southend United manager Chris Powell will be joining the fight against prostate cancer by running this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon for Prostate Cancer UK.
On Sunday 22 April the 48-year-old will be pounding the pavements across the capital’s fabled 26.2 mile course to support the leading men’s health charity against a disease that kills one man every 45 minutes.
By proudly wearing the iconic blue and black colours, Powell and former Great Britain and Leeds Rhinos rugby league legend, Kevin Sinfield, will be a part of Prostate Cancer UK’s 180-strong Men United squad, all raising money to stop prostate cancer being a killer.
The marathon is more than a run for Powell who was moved to support the cause after hearing the startling statistic that one in four black men will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime. In response he signed up to represent an exclusive ‘one in four’ Prostate Cancer UK quartet alongside British writer, broadcaster and ex-politician, Trevor Phillips, community radio DJ for vibesfm.net, Dj Disciple and Prostate Cancer UK community ambassador, Thomas Kagezi, who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and is currently undergoing treatment.
Black men face a higher than average risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer but only 14% of black men are aware of the increased risk that they face. In January 2017 Prostate Cancer UK launched its Stronger Knowing More campaign to address this disparity and build a legion of supporters to tackle it head on.
In April 2018 four black men, who have come together under the Stronger Knowing More banner, will run the London Marathon to represent the one in four black men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK.
Powell, who made his name as a player at Roots Hall, also represented Derby County, Charlton Athletic, Watford, West Ham United and Leicester City in his career. He was capped five times for England and has also managed the Addicks and Huddersfield Town.
For several years, the former PFA Chairman has supported the work of Prostate Cancer UK, including sporting the charity’s ‘Man of Men’ pin badge on touchlines up and down the land.
He said: “Hearing the statistic that one man now dies every 45 minutes was tough to take in. You would be a man down by half time, and down to nine men after 90 minutes if we applied this to a football match. One in eight men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime, but as a black guy the statistics are even more shocking – one in four.
“I wanted to do something about it, so I’ve signed up to run for Prostate Cancer UK in the London Marathon. I’ll be running in a team of 180 and am honoured to be part of a wider ‘one in four’ quartet which will be further spreading awareness. A remarkable guy called Thomas Kagezi, a man living with prostate cancer, represents that man. So, its extra pertinent.
“I’ve heard so much about the London Marathon experience so I’m excited about those 26 miles in April, although slightly nervous too. The fact I will be raising money to make a difference to men and their loved ones is all the motivation I need, though.”
The money raised by Powell and the Prostate Cancer UK runners will help ‘shift the science’ and crack the three core issues of diagnosis, treatment and prevention which have been left unsolved for too long. It 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.
Sinfield, meanwhile, will be running a second marathon for the charity after himself and close friend Chris Stephenson helped raise more than £4,500 in 2017.
James Beeby, Director of Fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “Chris Powell has been a wonderful supporter of us over the past few years and we’re delighted hewill be part of our team this year, raising vital funds and awareness for Prostate Cancer UK.
“Our amazing cast of runners from across the UK show a brilliant demonstration of Men United: people joining one team to fight a common opposition – prostate cancer.
Many people are unaware that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. For the first time, the number of men dying from prostate cancer every year has overtaken the number of women dying from breast cancer, making prostate cancer the third biggest cancer killer in the UK.