An England footballer is backing a new campaign about testicular cancer.

Portsmouth and England goalkeeper David James is telling fans to ‘catch it early’ in a new tongue-in-cheek advert to raise awareness of the disease for the Keep Your Eye On The Ball campaign.

The advert will be screened to millions of fans at football grounds around the UK throughout the campaign’s Focus Fortnight, taking place from 23rd February to 8th March.

The ad will be shown at most premiership stadiums before matches and during half time throughout the concourse areas.

A print version will also appear in match-day programmes.

James is using his goalkeeping mantra of ‘catch it early’ to get a serious message across.

The film shows the goalkeeper taking this motto a step too far, even interrupting a youngster’s kick-around and chasing him through the park to get his hands on the ball.

“As a goalie I know the importance of catching it early,” he said.

“The same rule applies with testicular cancer.

“I hope that all footie fans keep an eye out for the advert at the match and then go home and have a good check. It could save their lives.”

Keep Your Eye On The Ball is run by the Everyman Male Cancer Campaign with The Football Association and The Professional Footballer’s Association.

It aims to raise awareness of testicular cancer in the football community.

It is the most common form of cancer in 15-44 year olds. If caught early testicular cancer is 99% curable.

Fellow England goalkeeper, Paul Robinson, is joining his team mate to get behind the campaign.

He said: “Several footballers, like Everton’s Alan Stubbs, have been diagnosed with testicular cancer.

“I want to help spread the message that men should try to catch it early, because if they can, there is life after testicular cancer.”

Everyman spokesperson, Hannah Crabtree said:

“This disease mainly affects young men, a group who often ignore health issues.

“Hopefully, with world-class footballers like David James and Paul Robinson spreading the message, more men will check themselves and catch testicular cancer early.”

Testicular cancer affects almost 2,000 men every year in the UK.