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Southend United's chief executive Steve Kavanagh is joining the fight against Prostate Cancer

PUBLISHED: 16:30 26 May 2016

Southend United chief executive Steve Kavanagh (third from right) is from Upminster and will be helping raise money for Prostate Cancer UK (pic: Southern News and Pictures).

Southend United chief executive Steve Kavanagh (third from right) is from Upminster and will be helping raise money for Prostate Cancer UK (pic: Southern News and Pictures).

© Southern News & Pictures Ltd.

Upminster resident will set off on journey to Amsterdam on June 3 to help Prostate Cancer UK try and raise half a million pounds

Upminster’s Steve Kavanagh will be joining the fight against prostate cancer by taking part in this year’s Football to Amsterdam cycling challenge for Prostate Cancer UK as the charity aims to raise half a million pounds.

Southend United’s chief executive will be pounding the pedals from London to Amsterdam to support the leading men’s health charity against a disease that kills one man every hour from next Friday (June 3).

Prostate Cancer UK, the official charity partner of the Football League, will stage its fourth annual football fundraiser from 3-5 June 2016 – prostatecanceruk.org/amsterdam – and this year there is now not one, but three Grand Departs.

One group of riders will roll out of London from a new starting point at the iconic Olympic Park’s Velodrome, while two further groups will kick off at Barnsley FC’s Oakwell Stadium and at Portman Road, home of Ipswich Town FC.

And Men United’s Three Lions, Luther Blissett, Terry Butcher and Viv Anderson, will start from London, Ipswich and Barnsley respectively a week before England take on the cream of the continent in Euro 2016.

Proudly representing Southend United, Kavanagh will join the former England trio amid 350 riders in Prostate Cancer UK’s Men United team, all riding 145 miles and raising money to stop prostate cancer being a killer.

The £500,000 raised will help ‘shift the science’ and crack the three core issues of diagnosis, treatment and prevention which have been left unsolved for too long. It will also help provide support and information to those affected by the disease.

From the initial event in 2013 with a small group of 35 riders, to a total fundraising tally which will smash through the £1m mark this year thanks to a biggest ever peloton; the football-themed cycling challenge has proved a phenomenal success throughout its four years.

Football to Amsterdam is more than a ride for Steve, who was inspired to go the distance for Prostate Cancer UK having lost his dad to prostate cancer and his mum to breast cancer in a short space of time.

Kavanagh said: “Ignoring prostate cancer won’t beat it, so I joined the fight by signing up to take on the Football to Amsterdam ride.

“I decided to ride for Prostate Cancer UK because having lost my dad to the disease and then my mum shortly after to breast cancer I knew I had to do what I could to fight cancer. I work in a privileged world that enables us to raise a greater profile and therefore help fight prostate cancer using the power of football.”

James Beeby, director of fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “We’re delighted that Steve has decided to join the fight against prostate cancer and ride to raise vital funds for Prostate Cancer UK.

“Ignoring prostate cancer will not beat it, and the money raised by our fantastic riders will fund ground-breaking research to help fight the disease. That will help us provide dedicated support and information to men and their families affected by this disease.

“Our amazing cast of riders from across the UK show a brilliant demonstration of what we call Men United: people joining one team to fight a common opposition – prostate cancer.

“One man every hour dies from prostate cancer; it’s the most common cancer in men, but we want to make prostate cancer a disease that the next generation of men do not fear. We thank Steve for joining the fight and wish them every success in the event.”

Many people are unaware that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It’s a huge issue that cannot be ignored.

In 2016 one man an hour will die from prostate cancer in the UK. That’s 10,900 men this year. Based on current trends, if we ignore prostate cancer and do nothing, this number will rise to over 14,500 men a year by 2026.

People are urged to search Men United and join the fight, and use #F2A to share stories and updates online. To sponsor Steve please visit http://www.justgiving.com/Stephen-Kavanagh5.

Ben Wright, commercial director of the Football League, said: “We are proud of our partnership with Prostate Cancer UK and it’s great to see the Football to Amsterdam ride going from strength to strength in 2016.

“This is a great event and as a packed peloton of former internationals, ex-players, staff and supporters from clubs throughout the Football League saddle up in force, it once again highlights how the beautiful game and the Football League family can unite to make a game-changing contribution to men’s health.”

For more information about the ride, visit prostatecanceruk.org/amsterdam or contact the cycling team by calling 020 8222 7158 or emailing cycling@prostatecanceruk.org.

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