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National League and Vanarama making history to help save lives

Prostate Cancer UK

National League sponsors Vanarama are looking forward to seeing the competition making history in the name of Prostate Cancer UK when Saturday’s big game between Chesterfield and Notts County kicks off live on BT Sport.

For the first time ever in Non-League, a one-off ball will be used at a top tier fixture to highlight the sponsor’s big push to raise much-needed cash to fight the killer disease.

The striking blue and orange ball in the colours of Prostate Cancer UK and Vanarama features powerful testimonies from four football fans from across the country who’ve been affected by the disease killing one man every 45 minutes in the UK.

Since their diagnosis, Lloyd Pinder, Phill Coates, Errol McKellar and Kevin Webber all have made incredible efforts to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK and awareness of the disease through various initiatives.

All four hope their testimonies can help 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.

Lloyd Pinder, Leeds
“We stand together in our quest to change the game for men and their families affected by prostate cancer, and the grassroots game is the perfect platform to do this.”
Phill Coates, St Albans
“It’s great we can raise awareness of prostate cancer within the Non-League community. The spirit of everyone is so strong and I’m so proud that my club are always so supportive.”
Errol McKellar, Dunmow
“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.”
Kevin Webber, Epsom
“I want to show that a grim diagnosis doesn’t mean you have to mope around being miserable. Football has inspired me to have my own ‘promotion season’ feeling every day, despite having terminal prostate cancer.”

Kit manufacturer JAKO have created four balls for the fixture and each with be auctioned off after the match, with all proceeds going to Prostate Cancer UK, the National League’s official charity partner.

Another 25 replica balls are also set to be given away through the Vanarama website, www.Manarama.co.uk.

Campaign climax

The launch of the ball comes toward the end of a successful six-week MANarama National League campaign, the second successive season the fifth and sixth tiers of the English game have been temporarily renamed to support the charity.

Run from September to November in support the leading men’s health charity, the campaign is once again aiming to raise as much money as possible to combat the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men.

Prostate Cancer UK chief executive Angela Culhane told fans via the National League’s website: “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. 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 of Lloyd, Kevin, Phill and Errol 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.”

National League chief executive Michael Tattersall said: “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.”

For more information about the MANarama campaign, fundraising activity taking place through your local Non-League club and prostate cancer information, follow @Vanarama and @ProstateUK on Twitter and the #GiveandGo hashtag.

This article was brought to you by The Non-League Paper, the UK's best-selling football title on the newsstand, on-sale every Sunday.
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