Former Wycombe icon Howard Kennedy will be remembered during an afternoon of support for Prostate Cancer UK when Southend meet Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park on Saturday (k.o. 3pm).
A star of the Wanderers team of the 70s and 80s, Kennedy passed away earlier this month having received a diagnosis of terminal prostate cancer five years ago.
Friends and family of the former Wycombe number 8 will be guests of the club while there'll be a collection of donations around the stadium before the game, with fans of both clubs encouraged to pledge whatever cash they can. However, the charity are currently short of volunteers and anyone who can help should register their interest online - volunteers will receive a free ticket to the game.
Southend United - and their manager Chris Powell - have been long-time supporters of Prostate Cancer UK, and display the charity's logo across the front of their shirts.
Fans will also be able to show their support by buying one of the iconic Prostate Cancer UK ‘Man of Men’ pin badges, a mainstay on the lapels of managers and pundits in recent seasons, and are encouraged to chat to the volunteers.
The club ask fans of both clubs to observe a minute's applause in the 8th minute of the match, to represent both Howard's shirt number, but also the alarming statistic that 1 in 8 men will be affected by prostate cancer at some point in their life.
Chairboys boss Gareth Ainsworth said: “I’ve worked with this great charity for many years, from walking alongside Jeff Stelling to leading the club in their clash with Luton Town at the Prostate Cancer UK Stadium. I’m proud to wear Prostate Cancer UK’s ‘Man of Men’ pin badge on the touchline and it’s great to see Southend United raising awareness by putting the charity’s logo on their shirt this season. It’s a terrific statement.
"Most recently the club has been rocked by the sad news about Howard Kennedy, a legendary figure – and friend - who was struck down by this dreadful disease and died earlier this month.
“Our very own Bill Turnbull has also revealed his diagnosis this year so prostate cancer is something at the forefront of our minds here at the club. It’s a rival like no other and we will stand strong against it.
“I know Chris Powell very well. He ran the London Marathon for Prostate Cancer UK this year so I know how much the charity means to him, so this is a fitting fixture to ramp up awareness.
“I’d urge our fans to get behind the matchday collection on Saturday and also seek advice from their doctor, or go to the Prostate Cancer UK website if they have any worries.”
Powell added: “When I saw this season’s kit for the first time, it was quite emotional for me. Seeing the logo and the man struck a real chord with me, because I know how significant this is with regards to having Prostate Cancer UK on the front of a football shirt. I know It’s been at Millwall and Scunthorpe United but we are the custodians now and that is a great feeling for me.
“Over the years I’ve learned so much about this disease, and how it affects men and their families in so many different ways. There are still so many unanswered questions, but this is another milestone moment. One man dies every 45 minutes from this disease. Just think about that for a second, that’s two men every game we play. That simply has to change.
“That’s why there are volunteers from the charity collecting at the game on Saturday, and raising awareness. Dig in, if you can, or take some information from them. It’s an incredibly important cause.”
Text BADGE to 70004 to donate £5 to help stop prostate cancer being a killer (and get your own Prostate Cancer UK Man of Men pin badge to wear with pride).
Find out more about Prostate Cancer UK’s work in football by visiting their website: https://www.prostatecanceruk.org/football