“You’ll never walk alone.” It was so fitting as we walked into Anfield during the third day of my latest March for Men for Prostate Cancer UK one of the most iconic anthems of all was blasting out.
It perfectly encapsulated another wonderful week of walking for Prostate Cancer UK – I’m humbled and delighted to see the fundraising soar to £304,959, funding lifesaving research into the most common cancer in men. Unbelievable.
We’ve all been at the mercy of the Covid pandemic for more than 18 months now, but sadly prostate cancer has not gone away in that time. So, to put on the event was testament to the efforts and faith of so many people behind the scenes, not to mention all the clubs who welcomed us with open arms. But most importantly to everyone who walked; new faces and familiar ones, heroes one and all.
Sure, there were new hurdles to navigate, but what shone through was the optimism and positivity throughout, an army of people walking across four football heartlands over the week.
Sadly, there were two men missing this year, my mate Lloyd Pinder and the great Ray Clemence, both taken too early by prostate cancer.
I was proud to walk alongside Lloyd’s wife Tina for the opening two legs in the North-East and Yorkshire. I met Lloyd on the second day of my first-ever march and we became great mates. We lost Lloyd last year, he would have been 50 this year. It was an honour to pay tribute to him with his loved ones.
Likewise, we had an amazing experience in Merseyside, walking to Anfield and paying our respects to the legendary Ray Clemence with his son Stephen, daughter-in-law Suzanne and family. Ray also sadly died of the disease last year.
It’s hard to believe we began this journey five years ago at Hartlepool, and now we’re here, 33 walking marathons down and with thousands of people, many who have been affected by prostate cancer in some way, marching with me.
I’m so proud to be playing my part in the fight against prostate cancer, and I’m eternally grateful to all the walkers, volunteers, celebrities, clubs and fans who have supported us over the years to raise £1.38m in total.
Find out more: justgiving.com/campaign/jeffsmarch.