Luton manager Nathan Jones is joining forces with colleagues at Kenilworth Road to raise funds and awareness for Prostate Cancer UK by taking on a month-long fitness challenge.
More than 50 members of Town staff including Jones are joining the ‘Prostate United’ challenge which calls on those taking part to run or cycle every day of November to raise money in the fight against a disease that kills one man every 45 minutes.
Luton are among 35 football clubs across the leagues who have chosen to take part with the Hatters, who have already raised more £1,500, inspired to get involved when club great and current assistant manager Mick Harford went public with his diagnosis of prostate cancer earlier this year.
Jones told the PA news agency: “I’m looking forward to it.
“One, it shows the real unity we have here supporting the cause, two, it’s for someone who is close to our hearts here in Mick, showing a little bit of solidarity.
“The great thing about what Mick’s done, because he’s such a big personality and such a big name, when someone like that admits it and wants to speak out and wants to raise awareness people do take it in and it does make a big impact.
“To change things all it takes is one person and it did here. A few of us went and got checked here so you know it raised awareness just in one room, but it is because it is a serious disease and illness, no one should take it lightly.”
🏃♀️ Hatters are @prostateunited for Big Mick! 🚴♂️
More than 40 members of Luton Town staff will take part in a fitness challenge throughout November in support of Mick Harford.
— Luton Town FC (@LutonTown) October 19, 2021
The month-long fundraising effort was created in 2018 at Rotherham as backroom staff members Stephen Gilpin and Ross Burbeary were inspired to lace up their running boots following the death of Stephen’s grandfather, Norman, from prostate cancer.
Since then, sporting clubs up and down the country have joined in and helped raise over £80,000 for Prostate Cancer UK.
Those taking part will register their participation with a social media post after every fitness session.
Jones’ old Yeovil team-mate and current Rotherham boss Paul Warne is also joining in with the challenge and has ignited a little bit of competition between the pair.
“Me and Warney have had a real battle. When he came to Yeovil he was a real fit pro, one of the fittest I have ever seen, he could never ever beat me, but I think we are far more evenly raced now,” Jones said.
This year there has been a slight change to the options available to participants, who are able to choose a daily distance to run or cycle – either 10km, 5km or 3km on foot, or 25km, 15km or 10km on the bike.
So far this year clubs to pledge their support include the likes of Leeds, Manchester City and Norwich and Wigan.
Millers boss Warne is among over 100 other professional football staff who will unite in the challenge.
Warne said: “I’m absolutely dreading it but we’re all going to do it.
“Football has been at the forefront of prostate cancer and I think the next generation of men coming through have a greater understanding than my parents did put it that way.
“I openly admit I had a bit of a swelling not long ago and I got checked up straight away, it was a bit of water so I was fortunate but I just think that the more you talk about it the more aware people are, there’s no shame in getting checked out.
“I mean cancer takes a lot of lives and a lot of our loved ones so anything we can so to try and spread the message has got to be done.”
::Prostate United is raising money for Prostate Cancer UK this November. To donate, visitjustgiving.com/ProstateUnited2021.