Portsmouth FC boss Danny Cowley will urge Fratton Park fans to check up on their health

THOUSANDS of football fans will be encouraged to put their health first during a Pompey match this weekend as part of a campaign to spot cancer symptoms early.

Saturday, 15th January 2022, 4:55 am

During a match against the Milton Keynes Dons today (January 15) the crowds will be addressed in a video message by Blues coach Danny Cowley, urging men to go to their GPs if they think something is wrong.

It comes as part of the Wessex Cancer Trust’s Action Man campaign, which addresses the fact men are 60 per cent more likely to get cancer but only make up 20 per cent of those who seek support.

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Pompey coach Danny Cowley in the Action Man video

Mr Cowley said: ‘Sometimes as men we don’t like to think there’s anything wrong with us. Generally we’re the fixers and need to stay strong for our partners, mates and families so we just ignore it and carry on as normal. It’s really important for us to be aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer and to take action if we see changes to our bodies. A few minutes of talking to our doctors could save our lives. Find it early and you could beat it.’

The scheme has also been backed by The News. Editor Mark Waldron added: ‘We also need to make it OK to talk about things and seek the support you need. So if you’ve got cancer or a loved one has or you just think things are not quite right take action and get in touch with your local GP or Wessex Cancer Trust. It’s what they are there for.’

A study carried out by a group of junior doctors in Hampshire also found that 43 per cent of men would feel discouraged from talking about worrying changes to their body for fear of ‘making a fuss’ and 23 per cent would be too embarrassed.

Portsmouth resident Ken Ebbens who helped organise the partnership between the Wessex Cancer Trust and Pompey said: ‘We know that thousands of people will be at the match and a large proportion of them will be men. So you’ve got a captive audience.

‘If it makes just one man think I will go and get that problem looked at then it’s worth it.’

For more information visit actionman.wessexcancer.org.uk.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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