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Season 2013/14

Mike Summerbee signs for Men United

  • 31 January 2014 15:55
  • Posted by @CITCTweets
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Football legend and prostate cancer survivor Mike Summerbee joins business advisory firm Deloitte in spearheading the launch of the new Men United v Prostate Cancer campaign across the footballing heartlands of the North West.

With just hours left in the January transfer window, busy Men United ‘manager’ Bill Bailey has sealed a major coup by recruiting the former Manchester City and England winger to his star-studded squad.

Comedian Bailey has already signed some big-name stars from sports and show business such as rugby legend Will Carling, former City and Manchester United striker Denis Law, Sir Michael Parkinson, Homeland star Damian Lewis and Game of Thrones hard man Charles Dance as the groundbreaking campaign gathers pace.

Latest signing Summerbee will be unveiled at a press conference, run in conjunction with Deloitte, which selected Prostate Cancer UK as one of its three charity partners in April 2013. A special signings day, to be held in the organisation’s Manchester office on Friday, will see staff meet their local hero; and sign up online to the Men United team.

Men United v Prostate Cancer, an unashamedly masculine campaign using the language of sport to engage the nation’s men in the battle against the men-only killer, is the brainchild of Britain’s foremost male health charity, Prostate Cancer UK.

In his role of Men United boss, Bailey fronts the campaign which kicked off with a national television message, filmed at The Den, home of Millwall FC. The club has Prostate Cancer UK as its waived-fee shirt sponsor.

In an incredible tribute to the power of sport to reach men, over 38,000 people have already registered online since its launch five days ago, and Summerbee, who collected eight caps for his country, was delighted to pledge his allegiance,  joining Deloitte staff in pushing for further Men United signings in the North West.

He said: “I played more than 700 professional matches in my football career and pitted my wits against some of the greatest players of my generation, but battling prostate cancer has been my greatest challenge.

“I’m proud to sign for Men United, and proud to be part of a squad that not only includes international footballers, and stars from show business and the film industry, but men from all trades and all walks of life.

“Each and every one of us must pull together to fight this killer disease, one that will affect one in eight men in their lifetime. I am one of those eight and with the help of Prostate Cancer UK we can work on making a change for the better. “

Dan Jones, Partner, Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: “Deloitte is signing up to Prostate Cancer UK’s Men United v Prostate Cancer campaign because it is the most common cancer diagnosed in men in the UK, yet it’s a little-known and under-funded disease.

“Men United is about building a movement for men. We’re proud to be able to help them get the message out so that they can support men affected by it and intensify the search for more reliable tests and treatments in the future.”

Funnyman Bailey took centre stage at a launch breakfast briefing at The Football League HQ on Thursday, 23 January, together with international sports stars Gladstone Small and Luther Blissett.

His own father-in-law is one of the 250,000 men in the UK living with the disease, and he said: “We need men to sign for the team in their thousands. Clubs, pubs, individuals - let’s get everyone on the team. It’s easy - just search Men United online and you’re in! We’re determined to make this as massive for blokes as the breast cancer campaign has been for women.”

Men United is a dream team cutting across all sports and Former England rugby captain Carling is at the forefront of the campaign. He said: “I’ve played in some big matches in my rugby career and faced some fearsome opponents but prostate cancer is a challenge like no other. That’s why I was delighted to become part of Men United. This movement of men aims to raise awareness and start the ball rolling in kicking this killer disease in to touch. 250,000 men in the UK are suffering from prostate cancer – that’s enough to fill Twickenham more than three times.  We all need to stand together to combat this threat. We can win this.

“I know how devastating cancer can be,” he added. “I lost my Mum to this terrible disease. So I’m proud to be an ambassador for Men United and work with Prostate Cancer UK, an organisation that works tirelessly to get this hugely important subject on the agenda, not to mention raising vital funds for the research that will make change. So please join me and sign up to Men United - so we can make men’s health a priority.”

Ex-Scotland striker Law, a former teammate and still close friend of Summerbee, is another high-profile recruit to have faced the deadly disease head on.

He said: “I know what it’s like to be told you’ve got prostate cancer, and I know it’s a battle you don’t want to face alone. As with footballing opponents, prostate cancer is not something that can be beaten by individuals. Victory only comes when the whole team rallies round for the cause.

“I was proud to have signed for Man Utd and Man City and I’m just as proud to sign for Men Utd today. We can and will beat prostate cancer – but only if we unite for the fight against this common enemy that ruins all too many lives.”

In a 30-second television advert, which can be seen on TV until the end of March, Bailey calls on men from all walks of life to sign for Men United, adding their weight to the new movement to beat the devastating ‘dad’s disease’ once and for all. The message will be screened more than 6,000 times across numerous platforms, and it is part of a multi-channel, nationwide campaign which is hoped to be the biggest for men’s health the country has ever seen.

Owen Sharp, Chief Executive at Prostate Cancer UK, is leading the challenge to injustice around the disease. He said: "Our relationship with Deloitte continues to go from strength to strength and it’s wonderful to team up with them in an exciting campaign that has really caught the imagination. To have Mike Summerbee, a name which resonates with the footballing community (and beyond), on board proves what a big draw Men United is proving to be, and the phenomenal response from the public in less than a week has proved the momentum is with us as we face this deadly disease head on.”

Top names from sport, the arts and industry - many like ‘Buzzer’ with personal stories of the destruction inflicted by the disease on a man’s life and of the triumph when the disease is beaten - have already signed for Men United and now join ‘gaffer’ Bailey in urging the nation’s men to sign up to fight the apathy and neglect surrounding one of the UK’s biggest man killers.

Each year almost as many men are diagnosed with prostate cancer as women are diagnosed with breast cancer. But research into prostate cancer is badly underfunded, leaving tests and treatments trailing behind other common cancers. And the quality and availability of treatment can vary across the UK.

During the integrated television, print and digital campaign both men - and women - are encouraged to go online to search Men United and to get involved by testing their knowledge of the disease with a simple quiz, and signing for the team. They can also pledge their allegiance by proudly wearing the charity’s iconic ‘Man of Men’ pin badge.

To sign for Men United: www.prostatecanceruk.org/menunited


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