Men are being encouraged to get fit with their footballing heroes in order to raise money and awareness for male cancer research.
Keep Your Eye On The Ball 5k is a running event with a football twist, which will take place on June 1st in Victoria Park, east London.
A variety of professional footballers including Millwall striker Neil Harris, Derby County’s Alan Stubbs, Notts County’s Adam Tann and Hull City’s Matt Duke will be taking part.
The exclusively male run is organised by the FA, the Professional Footballers Association and the Everyman Male Cancer Campaign.
The charity says that testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in men aged between 15 and 45, with about 2,000 cases a year in the UK.
Incidence is increasing dramatically, by almost 4-fold in the last 50 years, but thanks to advances made at Everyman, testicular cancer is 99% curable if caught early, and with treatment the overall cure rate is 95%.
The run will be structured in a similar way to the FA Cup, as lower division teams will be pitted against top Premiership clubs in the battle to see who can run 5km the fastest.
Participants can run individually or on behalf of their chosen football club and will be asked to pay a small registration fee and encouraged to raise £100 through sponsorship.
All money raised will go to the Everyman Campaign, which funds research into testicular and prostate cancer.
Everyman patron and testicular cancer survivor Neil Harris is hoping to better his performance in this year’s run, adding:
“Testicular cancer is obviously an issue close to my heart so I will always do my bit to help raise awareness and funds for valuable research into the disease.
“And this year, I’m determined to finish higher up the ranking than my fifth place last year.
“The lads have already started talking about who will win and I’m pretty confident it’ll be me this year!”
Soccer AM hosts Helen Chamberlain and Andy Goldstein are also behind the event, urging men to get involved in a day that promises to be balls of fun.
“This all-male event gives lads a chance to get together and do something fun, while at the same time supporting a great cause. We all know men like to compete and this run provides a chance to pit man against man and club against club in an FA Cup-style battle,” says Helen.
The fastest individuals and top fundraisers will each be honoured for their achievements and the winning club will be the one that finishes with the best average running time.
As well as professional players and The FA taking part in the event, Premiership giants are also keen to get their supporters involved.
All money raised will go towards funding research into prostate and testicular cancer which affects 37,000 men in the UK every year. One man dies of prostate cancer in the UK every hour.
Participants can register for the event on the Everyman website www.everyman-campaign.org or by phoning 0800 731 9468.