In a move thought to be a world-first, the Vanarama National League took the bold step of rebranding midseason to become the MANarama National League last month after teaming up with Prostate Cancer UK.
The 45-day campaign saw the league adopt a new name to help raise awareness in the fight against prostate cancer – a deadly disease thought to claim the life of one man every 45 minutes.
National League chief sponsor Varanama pledged to raise a whopping £150,000 over the course of the six-and-a-half-week charity drive – and the cheque will be presented on Non-League Day this coming Saturday when Halifax Town welcome Chesterfield to The Shay, live on BT Sport 1 HD.
More than 11,000 men die from prostate cancer in the UK each year, making it the third-biggest cancer killer in the country.
It is the most common cancer in men, with over 400,000 people believed to be living with and after the disease.
But worryingly, the disease is set to become the most commonly diagnosed cancer of all in the UK by 2030, making the fight to find a cure more important than ever.
James Beeby, Director of Fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, hailed the National League’s commitment to the cause last month, saying: “It’s terrific to see the National League join us in the fight against the deadliest opponent of all, and, after backing us for a number of years, we once again thank Vanarama for their ongoing support.
“We stand together in our quest to change the game for men and their families and the grassroots game is the perfect platform to do this. The money raised will fund ground-breaking research to help fight this disease and the awareness generated across the length and breadth of the country will be vital.
“We thank the National League and Vanarama for creating this milestone moment and look forward to our most successful Non-League Day in October.”
Vanarama CEO Andy Alderson reaffirmed his support for the move, adding: “We’re ready to help tackle prostate cancer with the National League and Prostate Cancer UK. The charity does great work in football and so we thought we’d do our bit too.
“The decision to re-brand ourselves MANarama, and the National League to reflect that re-branding, was an easy one. The fact that more than 11,000 men die from prostate cancer in the UK each year is staggering and if re-branding the league helps raise awareness of the disease for even one man, then that’s a success for us.”
Anyone with concerns about prostate cancer may contact Prostate Cancer UK's Specialist Nurses in confidence on 0800 074 8383 or online via the Live Chat instant messaging service: www.prostatecanceruk.org
The Specialist Nurse phone service is free to landlines and open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday with late opening until 8pm on Wednesdays.
Visit https://prostatecanceruk.org/football to help beat the disease.