Millwall FC stars, including all-time top scorer Neil Harris and club chairman John Berylson today posed with three prostate cancer-suffering drag queens at the Den, after the final whistle in their Coca Cola League One clash tomorrow with Gillingham FC, just three days after former Newcastle United owner Sir John Hall confirmed he has been diagnosed with incurable prostate cancer.
Millwall FC are encouraging all football fans to support or take part in The Great Drag Race in 10 weeks time (19 June), when it is hoped a world-record breaking 1000 men will walk over 10km in London in female costumes to drag prostate cancer into the spotlight: raising money for prostate cancer research, and increasing awareness of a disease that kills almost as many men as breast cancer kills women, yet 70% of UK adults don’t even know what the prostate is.
The X Foundation set up The Great Drag Race (www.thegreatdragrace.org) to mark the first Prostate Cancer Awareness Day (19 June), a partnership between Prostate Cancer Research Foundation, the Prostate Cancer Support Federation and The X Foundation. Ten brave men living with prostate cancer are at the forefront of the campaign and are spending three months training to become drag queens. Three of the men (details below) were at Millwall FC in drag costume, and took part in a pre-match interview on the pitch about The Great Drag Race, in front of the packed Den. They also posed with players Neil Harris, Paul Robinson, and David Forde after the game.
‘Millwall players are men enough to talk about prostate cancer – even with men dressed as women! It’s high time all football fans find out the facts about this disease, and help prevent thousands of unneccesary deaths every year. The Great Drag Race on 19 June is a first-rate initiative to kick ignorance about prostate cancer, and Millwall is happy to help drag this issue into the spotlight.’ Deano Standing.
• 10,200 men in the UK die from prostate cancer (http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/types/prostate/#mortality). Just under 12,000 women in the UK die from breast cancer (http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/types/breast/#mortality). 70% of UK adults do not know what the prostate is, according to a survey in March 2009 conducted by The Prostate Cancer Charity (the biggest Prostate Cancer charity in the UK).
• The Great Drag Race is a spectacular new annual event that aims to radically increase the public’s awareness of prostate cancer. They hope to persuade a thousand men of all shapes and sizes to descend on London, where they will each walk or run for 10.2km wearing a wig and a frock in order to drag the issue into the spotlight. The Great Drag Race will provide a platform for men to show that they have issues, too, even if they have to dress up as women to talk about them! Through the media attention generated, they will encourage men to carefully assess their risks of contracting prostate cancer, and they will do their best to get everybody talking about the subject so that men feel more comfortable bringing it up with their friends, family or doctor. The Great Drag Race will begin and end in London Fields on June 19th, and the entry rules are simple. All participants will be asked to raise some money via an online sponsorship page, and they will be required to wear flamboyant female clothing for the length of the route. It’s that simple. They hope to raise thousands of pounds for research into prostate cancer, and to set a new world record along the way. The Great Drag Race is open to men of all ages and abilities. The distance is 10.2km – that’s one long stride for each of the 10,200 men lost to the disease each year. To help celebrate our achievements, there will be celebrities, guest performances, and an after-party for all our participants and their friends and families. For more information, seewww.thegreatdragrace.org