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Prostate Cancer UK partnership recognised at Business Charity Awards

13 May 2014

Millwall's link up with charity highly commended

Millwall Football Club's relationship with Prostate Cancer UK was highly commended in the Best Short-Term Charity Partnership category at the Third Sector Business Charity Awards on Tuesday night.

The ceremony took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London and was attended by Millwall's Commercial Director, Alan Williams, and Fan on the Board, Peter Garston.

Chief Executive Andy Ambler said: "A motto that we have adopted at our club is 'Football is the answer, not the problem'.

"There is so much that we do, and can do more of, which enables Millwall to be a force for good. We are a family club, and like every family we know many close to us who have suffered the effects of cancer.

"If displaying the Prostate Cancer UK logo on our shirt and providing regular information in our publications and around our ground helps saves lives, we will have achieved something even greater than three points on a Saturday afternoon."

The partnership between Millwall and Prostate Cancer UK was born in June 2013 when The Lions approached the charity following a recommendation by The Football League.

As part of the deal, Prostate Cancer UK's logo has appeared on the front of our first team's kit throughout 2013/14 and, in addition, the charity benefited from in-stadium advertising, regular matchday programme features and a joint fundraising effort. The club also waived all commercial fees, making the sponsorship free for the charity.

The two parties have worked closely together during the season-long partnership with a plethora of activities enabling supporters, local residents and the football family to become more aware of the most common cancer in men.

A five-minute feature on BBC One's The Football Show featuring Millwall's support for men's health proved a powerful vehicle, while the club raised money and awareness with the Heroes In White day in November which saw The Lions given special dispensation by The Football League to wear the white away strip in support of Prostate Cancer UK. Hundreds of specially commissioned t-shirts commemorating the event were sold with all profits going to the charity. Throughout November, £5 from every away shirt sold was donated to them, also.

The Den hosted a recent match between a Men United All-stars squad and a Parliamentarian Xl, which further spread the word, and there was a recent legends fixture that raised a four-figure sum. What's more, Nicola Robinson, wife of Lions skipper Paul, was so inspired by the partnership between the two organisations that she completed the recent Virgin Money London Marathon in aid of Prostate Cancer UK.

Of equal importance, the partnership has already led to a host of supporters coming forward to share their stories of their battles with the disease. Personal stories - like the tragic yet inspiring tale of Lions fan Brian Kilgannon - is one of the most powerful ways to raise awareness and are highly effective at generating media coverage. Many others at risk of the disease are now taking heed of the message and visiting their GPs.

Mark Bishop, Director of Fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, said: "A wonderful year partnering an amazing football club came to a conclusion with the club completing their Great Escape - and the fact we will continue to be associated with Millwall beyond the summer speaks volumes.

"Football is vital to us as a charity because it reaches thousands of men of all backgrounds who are unreachable by conventional health messages. Already we have made great leaps ahead in getting the urgent message out to Millwall fans about prostate cancer and we look forward to that positive progress continuing.

"Our message is simply. Regardless of the team you support, we can all wear the shirt of men's health and come together in opposition against the team we need to beat."

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