Darts legends back Prostate Cancer UK pub campaign

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

Men United: (l-r) darts legends Bobby George, Dennis Priestley and Martin Adams
Men United: (l-r) darts legends Bobby George, Dennis Priestley and Martin Adams

Related tags Prostate cancer United kingdom

Dennis Priestley, Martin Adams and Bobby George attended an exclusive event on 12 December at a London pub that has recently signed up as a Men United Arms venue.

Two days before the PDC World Championships get under way​ at the Alexandra Palace - and a month before rival darts body, the BDO, concludes its flagship tournament in Frimley Green, Surrey - the trio showed their support for Prostate Cancer UK campaign Men United Arms at an event at the Minories in Tower Hill, Tower Hamlets, east London.

The Men United Arms is pub, club and bar specific drive from Prostate Cancer UK, which aims to raise awareness of prostate cancer and kick start conversations in places where people feel comfortable talking.

Publicans have been tasked with raising funds for Prostate Cancer UK by hosting events such as darts, racing and quiz nights.

"Harsh statistics"

Prostate Cancer UK director of fundraising James Beeby said: “We’re proud of our work across the entire sporting spectrum and it’s great to team up with three legends of the game in Dennis, Martin and Bobby to further spread the word.

“It’s all about knowing the numbers when you are playing darts, but not enough people are aware of the harsh statistics about this disease.

“Darts and pubs go hand in hand, and we also need landlords to join others across the country and come together to support their customers in helping beat this disease.”

“Prostate Cancer affects every community. One in eight men will be diagnosed in the UK and one man dies from prostate cancer every 45 minutes. I encourage all landlords to turn their pubs into a Men United Arms to help us save men’s lives.”

Headline stats

  • So far 533 pubs have signed up to the Men United Arms campaign
  • More than 11,000 men die from prostate cancer in the UK every year – that’s one man every 45 minutes
  • It’s the most common form of cancer among men, with over 330,000 living with and after the disease in the UK
  • Prostate cancer is set to become the most commonly diagnosed cancer of all in the UK by 2030
  • Men over 50, black men and men with a family history of prostate cancer all face a higher than average risk of the disease

Prostate cancer has directly affected multiple world title winners Priestley and Adams.

Mexborough native Priestley, 67, affectionately known as ‘The Menace’, is the only man to have won both the PDC and BDO World Championships at the first attempt. January 2018 marks 10 years since his surgery to combat the disease.

Champion in 1991 and 1994, Priestley said: “I’m the proof after 10 years if you get it diagnosed early enough, you can beat prostate cancer. I always tell people not to be shy; to go and see their doctors if they are worried. Being shy could cost you your life.

“This is a great incentive. Pubs predominantly are where men want to go and they are usually around my age, from 40s into 70s and that’s around the time you need to be aware of problems with prostate cancer.”

Market Deeping’s ‘Wolfie’ Adams, 61, whose world titles came in 2007, 2010 and 2011, was diagnosed with the disease in April 2016. He added: “The support I have received has been unbelievable and overwhelming, both locally and from the darting community.

“I’ve also met and spoken to a lot of people who are going through prostate cancer or know someone who is or are just worried about it. I always say to go and speak to a doctor or look on the Prostate Cancer UK website.

"The wealth of information on there is incredible and not just the information but a whole community of people who are going through the same thing and can react and speak to each other in the forum.”

George, from Colchester, Essex, is a twice World Championship runner-up and a big supporter of Men United Arms. He said: “It’s great to be able to support such an important campaign. It’s so important that pubs and landlords get fundraising for this cause and also start raising awareness among their locals of this disease.

“Awareness is the key. If we can get landlords to start conversations in their pubs about this, the more we can save lives. Prostate cancer is something that, as men, we need to be aware of. Every 45 minutes a man dies, that’s a lot of guys. To help people to be aware of it and getting pubs to raise awareness and fundraise, it’s a great place to start.”

Pubs can sign up as a Men United Arms venue, and receive a free fundraising and awareness pack, including beer mats and a collection tin, here​.

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