Hammers captain Noble hails Stelling's March for Men
PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 August 2019
West Ham United captain Mark Noble has saluted Jeff Stelling as the broadcaster prepares to take on another epic walking challenge for Prostate Cancer UK - spanning four countries in four days.
The long-serving Sky Sports television presenter has already completed 25 walking marathons for the leading men's health charity in 2016 and 2017, raising close to £800,000.
And he aims to march through the £1million fundraising barrier as he travels to Glasgow, Belfast, Cardiff and London from September 5-8, trekking 26 miles in each country.
On the final day, Stelling, along with more than 200 fellow walkers and some footballing royalty, will set off from West Ham United's London Stadium, with stops at newly promoted Championship side Charlton Athletic, Millwall, Arsenal, before arriving at the challenge's big finale at Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium.
Noble said: "Jeff is part of the fabric of football on a Saturday afternoon,and it's brilliant to see him continuing to support such a hugely important cause, Prostate Cancer UK.
"I know he wears the 'Man of Men' pin badge on Soccer Saturday every week, and his marathon efforts over the past few years have been unbelievable. This four-nation challenge sounds fantastic, and I wish him all the best.
"The statistic that one man dies every 45 minutes from this disease is shocking, and that's something we need to address.
"So many people have been touched by this disease, not just men, but their loved ones too. But football is an incredibly powerful force that can bring people together for a greater good, and this is a brilliant example of people marching together to make a massive difference.
"I know the West Ham fans will play their part and am sure it will be a really successful event. Good luck Jeff!"
Jeff's March for Men, supported by The Stars Group and Sky Bet, is part of Prostate Cancer UK's wider walking programme, March for Men, which returned bigger and better in 2019 including 10 city walks across the UK in June.
Stelling, meanwhile, will follow up his two mega marches from Hartlepool to Wembley, and Exeter to Newcastle, by pounding the pavements across the major metropoles of four nations via a host of local football clubs.
Around 500 walkers will join him across the four days with more than 200, including celebrities and people affected by prostate cancer, striding alongside him on the final day to support the charity in their quest to help stop prostate cancer being a killer.
Among those joining Stelling on the finale will be Soccer Saturday stalwarts Paul Merson, Matthew Le Tissier and Chris Kamara while Hammers legend Sir Trevor Brooking will wave the walkers off from the London Stadium and former Tottenham Hotspur and England goalkeeper Ray Clemence will greet them at the finish line.
"Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, with one man dying every 45 minutes from this disease. That's unacceptable, and that's why I'm walking again," said Stelling, who regularly wears the Prostate Cancer UK Man of Men pin badge on Soccer Saturday.
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"It's an indiscriminate disease, affecting men and their loved ones across the UK. I've walked alongside many of them and am proud to call some my friends. Their reaction and positive outlook despite being dealt the toughest of hands is simply unbelievable. I'm marching for them - and everyone affected - in a bid to fund the research to change the game.
"That's why I'm taking our walk across into four home nations and would love the public to join me along en route. I live in England and work in London but the wonderful work of Prostate Cancer UK stretches into Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, so I will be pounding the pavements in four historic cities - and it wouldn't be a football march without popping in on some iconic football clubs along the way."
Not only will Stelling navigate 26 miles of walking on each day and trips to 16 new clubs, taking his three-walk tally to 89, but will also face the added challenge of transport connections, including two flights across the Irish Sea.
His exciting 100-plus mile March for Men kicks off at Hampden Park, home of the Scottish national team, and the nation's oldest club, Queens Park, in the morning of September 5 and also heads to city giants Rangers and Celtic before visiting Hamilton Academical and finishing at Motherwell.
He will then board a plane to Belfast that evening with day two starting at Northern Ireland Football League Premier League club Crusaders before culminating at Windsor Park, home of Linfield as well as the Northern Ireland national team. The Belfast route also visits Cliftonville and Glentoran.
After flying back across the Irish Sea, Saturday, September 7, sees him in Wales where he will head from League Two Newport County to Premier League Cardiff City and finish at the Principality Stadium.
A train into England will follow that evening before the final amble across London on September 8.
Prostate Cancer UK Chief Executive Angela Culhane, who has walked more than 130 miles alongside Stelling across the 2016 and 2017 March for Men events, added: "The fight against prostate cancer is a purpose worth uniting for, and we want to continue making strides to combat this disease.
"hat's why we're so grateful to Jeff for dusting off his walking boots and plotting another 'unbelievable' adventure across the four nations, and Matt for joining him along the way.
"We are constantly inspired by the incredible men, women and children who come out to support us, each with their own story and personal challenges to conquer. We will be proud to walk side by side with them and together we can add to the real momentum building in the fight against this disease.
"The vital next step is to fund more ground-breaking research and find the tools needed for a screening programme, in order to catch more prostate cancers early and save more lives."
Many people are unaware that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men as over 11,500 die each year. It's a huge issue that cannot be ignored.
PokerStars, the flagship poker brand of The Stars Group, and Sky Bet have both supported Prostate Cancer UK for several years.
Stelling is a Sky Bet Ambassador and has benefited from the support of the online sports betting operator that has resulted in public fundraising and corporate donations for Prostate Cancer UK.
In 2015, PokerStars partnered with the charity for the Lad's Night In initiative, which invited people to set up fundraising poker home games with friends.
To donate go to justgiving.com/jeffsmarchformen2019 or search Jeff's March for Men 2019 on Just Giving Jeff or to find out more information about the March for Men programme go to marchformen.org.