Luton Town supporters raised an impressive £1,041.81 for Prostate Cancer UK during their match day collection on 14th October in a bid to relegate a disease that kills one man every 45 minutes.
The League Two side were one of 11 clubs to host match days and generous supporters helped raise a combined total of more than £11,000 as part of a continued programme of events with the Official Charity Partner of the EFL, Prostate Cancer UK.
As well as raising money on the day through a collection at Kenilworth Road, the local social club, Beech Hill Conservative Club, also got involved as they converted their bar into a 'Men United Arms'. From drip trays to beer mats and pin badges to balloons, they decorated the bar and encouraged fans to round their pints up to the nearest pound with proceeds going to charity.
On the day, the Hatters won 7-1 against local rivals Stevenage, whose fans also chipped in with a life-saving contribution on a successful afternoon.
Together fans of the Championship, League One and League Two clubs have raised vital funds which will go towards improving diagnosis, treatment, prevention and support to ultimately help stop prostate cancer being a killer.
James Beeby, Director of Fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, said: "The power of football consistently helps us reach out to men and their friends and families, and we are very grateful for the continued backing from Luton Town and Stevenage as well as many other clubs across the EFL and beyond.
"One man dies every 45 minutes from this disease. That's two men during a football match, so we're grateful once again that Hatters and Boro fans have joined the fight against prostate cancer to raise vital funds for Prostate Cancer UK.
"The money raised by clubs and their fantastic fans will fund ground-breaking research to help fight the disease. That will help us provide dedicated support and information to men and their families affected by this disease. We thank everyone involved for helping us relegate prostate cancer."
As well as fans generously donating on the day, managers from across the football fraternity, including Hatters boss Nathan Jones, have also been getting behind the cause by wearing the iconic Prostate Cancer UK 'Man of Men' pin badge and speaking out about the disease that affects one in eight men in the UK, a statistic that worsens to one in four if you are a black man.
Welshman Jones said: "Prostate cancer is a hugely important issue and football can make a real difference in helping spread the message about the dangers of the disease, particularly when you see the worrying stats about two men dying every single game. That's not good enough.
"It's important that clubs and fans play their part in a number of ways, from wearing the Man of Men pin badge like me and other managers to taking on epic endurance events – and I'm proud that Luton were the first club to host a game at the Prostate Cancer UK Stadium.
"When you think that the capacity of our ground equates to the number of men that will die of prostate cancer per year, that's incredibly scary. Too many men are affected by this disease and we all need to get together to help turn things around."
This support from clubs and their fans is set to continue into 2018 as a new line-up of Prostate Cancer UK match day fixtures will soon be unveiled at clubs up and down the country. New dates will be announced soon and the charity is urging fans and people in the local community to join the fight and help at a local game. You can register interest at prostatecanceruk.org/matchdays.
Many people are unaware that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It's a huge issue that cannot be ignored. One man will die from prostate cancer every 45 minutes in the UK. That's over 11,000 men a year. Based on current trends, if we ignore prostate cancer and do nothing, this number will rise to over 14,500 men a year by 2026.
Details will soon be available about the 2018 games, where you can find the nearest match to volunteer and get a free ticket to the game, visit: prostatecanceruk.org/matchdays.
Additionally, to show your support and get Prostate Cancer UK's 'Man of Men' badge to wear with pride, text BADGE to 70004 to donate £5* and help stop prostate cancer being a killer. For information about the badge and the charity's work in football visit prostatecanceruk.org/whostheman
* Text costs £5 plus network charge. Prostate Cancer UK receives 100% of your donation. Obtain bill payers permission. Customer care 0800 082 1616. Charity No 1005541.