Leicester City legend Emile Heskey has pledged his support to an East Midlands campaign to “kick-out prostate cancer” and urged men to get themselves checked for the condition.
The striker, who started his career at Leicester before going on to represent Liverpool, Birmingham, Aston Villa and England in a glittering career, has backed the innovative #PlayDominoTalkProstate initiative launched by the Leicester-based Centre for BME Health. Statistics show one in four African Caribbean men will develop prostate cancer at some point in their lives, compared to one in eight men from other backgrounds.
The 41-year-old met up with Pamela Campbell-Morris, a Project Assistant and Community Champion at the centre, to show his support for the programme. He said: “I think it’s very important that people get checked out. The figures are obviously very high, I didn’t realise it was that high, so I’m happy to help in any way I can. It’s a wonderful campaign and I’m throwing my weight behind it.”
Emile joins current Leicester City club captain Wes Morgan and former Foxes winger Matt Piper in supporting the initiative, which has already seen people from African and African Caribbean communities compete in a free domino tournament.
Pamela Campbell-Morris said: “We are thrilled that Emile Heskey has highlighted how important it is for men from African and African Caribbean backgrounds to get themselves checked and be aware of the symptoms associated with the disease. “By having Emile, Wes and Matt on board we hope their message and the activities on offer will help to raise more awareness, predominantly amongst those of African and African Caribbean communities, about prostate cancer, obesity and mental health.
The activities are supported by the Leicester-based Centre for Black and Minority Ethnic Health East Midlands, the University of Leicester, Prostaid and Prostate Cancer UK as well as the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) East Midlands. The Centre for BME Health is working to reduce health inequality in the region by sharing resources and promoting research. The Centre is supported by the University of Leicester and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) East Midlands. NIHR ARC East Midlands is a partnership of regional health services, universities and industry which turns research into cost-saving and high-quality care through cutting-edge innovation.