This morning, we announced that for our televised match with Wycombe next Tuesday, our home, Kenilworth Road, will be renamed as the “Prostate Cancer UK Stadium” for one match alone.
We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response to this initiative, not just from our loyal fans, but from football fans from around the country and many other people who have been affected by Prostate Cancer in some way.
During the past few weeks, we have alluded to the possibility of renaming the stadium in programme notes, and online with many supporters taking part in an online poll which gave us a valuable insight into how supporters feel about stadium naming rights.
To try and build up as much conversation as possible about the renaming, we decided not to reveal that Prostate Cancer UK were involved until today in the hope that more people would talk about the charity and this condition once we made the announcement. We hope that supporters understand that the decision was not to mislead people, but to help raise awareness and interest in the story.
And here’s why. Imagine the Prostate Cancer UK Stadium full to capacity. If you removed one person from the ground for every life taken by Prostate Cancer the stadium would be empty by the beginning of the following season. That’s how many lives are lost every year – a tragically shocking statistic.
If this initiative helps just one of our supporters to seek advice early from Prostate Cancer UK, then we feel it was worth doing.
This is Dave Chamberlain’s story, a Hatters Fan from Leighton Buzzard.
Dave Chamberlain, 51, lost both his father and uncle to prostate cancer, and he will join a selection of Hatters fans who will accompany the teams onto the pitch ahead of the live-on-Sky game.
Hatters fans will always look at the dramatic Littlewoods Cup Final win against Arsenal as one of the greatest days in the club’s history, and, fitting with the theme of the new friendship strand of Men United, Dave shared that moment with his best friend.
“I’ll never forget that day,” he said. “The funny thing was I was there with my best mate – who was an Arsenal fan!
“He later became my best man, so clearly didn’t hold it against me.”
On the subject of friendship, eagle-eyed viewers of Prostate Cancer UK’s new Men United advert might have spotted Dave, an operational controller from Leighton Buzzard, pop up in the background of the live music scene in the working men’s club.
Dave said: “I have never done anything like this before. It was interesting and fun to meet other people, talk and share our experiences. From what I know this is what Men United is all about – men spending time together and keeping friendships alive.”
Prior to filming, the Prostate Cancer UK team had no idea just how many men at the club had a link to the disease. This just showed how prevalent the disease is – and highlights that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men
“Having lost my father and uncle to prostate cancer it was nice to be able to give something back to the charity trying to save more men’s lives, and support those who are living with the disease. I hope people will watch the TV advert and sign for Men United – the team trying to beat prostate cancer,” Dave added.
“It’s better for people to get things out into the open and talk about male issues, and as a long-time supporter I’m proud to see Luton changing their name to reflect something very close to my heart. I’ll be at The Prostate Cancer UK Stadium on Tuesday cheering on the lads and hoping for a positive result – on and off the pitch.
“It’s amazing to see the charity working so proactively to tackle an issue that affects so many men. I was delighted to play a small part in the new advertising campaign and now Luton are becoming instrumental in raising awareness – and money.”
People are being urged to search Men United, and do something great with their mates via www.prostatecanceruk.org/menunited.