O’s coach McKellar features on one-off MANarama ball
- Credit: PA
A quote from Leyton Orient youth team coach Errol McKellar will feature on a special one-off match ball.
Vanarama, sponsors of the National League, announced the custom-made ball to feature in the match between Chesterfield and Notts County as part of their six-week 'MANarama' campaign to highlight the fact that a man dies from prostate cancer every 45 minutes in the UK.
The blue and orange ball has been designed in Prostate Cancer UK and Vanarama colours with powerful testimonies from four men affected by the disease to highlight the role football can play in prompting fans to consider their health, as well as raising awareness of the most common cancer in men.
McKellar was diagnosed with prostate cancer after his wife booked him a doctor's appointment due to his snoring.
The former mechanic has played a big part in the MANarama campaign and offered a discoount on MOTs to men who saw their doctors, saving several lives in the process, and is an advocate for the charity's campaigning around the statistic that one in four black men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime in the UK.
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His quote says: "Rivals on the pitch, united off it. The football family is the perfect vehicle to raise awareness of prostate cancer. Thank you MANarama. Thank you football. Goodbye prostate cancer."
Andy Alderson, chief executive and founder of Vanarama, said: "We sponsor the National League because we are well aware of the power that football has to bring people together to prompt discussion.
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"Creating this special, one-off ball, was a way to highlight the special role that football can play in prompting fans to talk about Prostate Cancer, raise awareness of the disease and offer support to those suffering from it. We're hoping that the auction for the balls raises plenty of money for a deserving cause."
National League chief executive Michael Tattersall added: "The MANarama campaign always captures the imagination of football fans and this one-off ball is a great way of starting conversation.
"It perfectly encapsulates how football can help those who are battling the disease. Whether it be pre-match, during half-time or after the final whistle, men should be talking about prostate cancer."
Angela Culhane, chief executive of Prostate Cancer UK, said: "We pride ourselves on being on the ball in the fight against prostate cancer, a disease that kills one man every 45 minutes.
"This is a purpose worth uniting for, and from changing the name of the league and now introducing a bespoke ball, it's been wonderful to play a part in the ground-breaking MANarama campaign over the past two years, and we thank both Vanarama and the National League for their unwavering support.
"Seeing our 'Man of Men' logo, and the quotes from four men affected by this disease on the ball is a hugely powerful way to raise awareness of the dangers of prostate cancer.
"The stories will trigger emotions of hope, heartbreak and humility, but they also drive our determination to make prostate cancer a disease the next generation of men need not fear."
Four balls created by manufacturer JAKO will be auctioned off post-match in aid of the charity and anotehr 25 replica balls will be given away thrrough manarama.co.uk.
For more information about the MANarama campaign, fundraising activity taking place through your local non-league club and prostate cancer information, visit the Vanarama (@Vanarama) and Prostate Cancer UK (@ProstateUK) Twitter feeds and the #GiveandGo hashtag.