Leeds Rhinos legend Sinfield to run again for Prostate Cancer UK in London Marathon
Kevin Sinfield ran his first London Marathon in 2017 alongside former team mates Keith Senior and Jamie Peacock
Former England and Leeds Rhinos rugby league captain Kevin Sinfield will once again join the fight against prostate cancer by running the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon for Prostate Cancer UK.
On Sunday 22 April, the Oldham-based 37-year-old, now Rugby Director of the RFL, will again be pounding the pavements across the capital’s fabled 26.2-mile course alongside close friend Chris Stephenson to support the leading men’s health charity against a disease that kills one man every 45 minutes.
By proudly wearing the iconic blue and black colours, Sinfield and keen marathon runner Stephenson, head of the Active Division of Pentland Brands, will be a part of Prostate Cancer UK’s 180-strong squad, all raising money to stop prostate cancer being a killer.
The money raised by the duo will help ‘shift the science’ and crack the three core issues of diagnosis, treatment and prevention which have been left unsolved for too long. It will have a huge impact on the lives of those affected by the disease and will help bring the charity one step closer to stopping prostate cancer being a killer.
Sinfield has long been a supporter of the work of Prostate Cancer UK after Sky Sports rugby league reporter and good friend Bill Arthur, told of his fight with the deadly disease. Arthur, who is a regular on the satellite channel’s ground-breaking coverage of Super League, and hugely respected amid the rugby league family, is one of the 330,000 men in the UK suffering from the disease after being diagnosed five years ago. Eddie Hemmings, long time anchor and commentator on the station has also been affected and both men have worked closely with Prostate Cancer UK, helping raise awareness among the rugby league family.
The duo raised more than £4,500 for Prostate Cancer UK last year, and will be joining Southend United FC manager Chris Powell and former politician and equalities tsar, Trevor Phillips among a bumper contingent for the charity.
Sinfield said: “I experienced some amazing arenas and atmospheres in my playing career, but running through the streets of London last year for such a worthy charity, Prostate Cancer UK, was right up there.
“The support was incredible, and it was humbling to run alongside so many incredibly brave people and raise awareness of a brilliant charity that supports many men and their families that I know well. I knew straight away I wanted to return in 2018 to carry on beating the drum because there is still so much to do.
“There is a stigma with the C word, and meeting people affected can put everything into perspective. It’s staggering to think that one man dies every 45 minutes from this disease. It affects one in eight men, and that statistic shortens to one in four if you are a black man. That’s why Chris Powell and Trevor Phillips are in a special ‘One on Four’ team to raise money for and awareness of this issue.
“Chris Stephenson is a great pal of mine and was invaluable to me last year as I prepared for my first marathon, and I’m looking forward to running alongside him as well. I can’t wait to get going.”
Sinfield has offered stellar support for the charity since hearing about Bill Arthur’s diagnosis. Two years ago he joined Jeff Stelling, Arthur and a clutch of star names from rugby league on the Leeds leg of his epic walk from Hartlepool to Wembley, and also joined the Sky Sports presenter in his home town of Oldham in the 2017 15-day March for Men from Exeter City to Newcastle United. And when named runner-up in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2015, him and the whole of his treble-winning Leeds Rhinos squad, sported the Prostate Cancer UK ‘Man of Men’ pin badge.
Sinfield clocked a mightily impressive 3:30.51 in his it’s a first London Marathon but Manchester United supporter Stephenson knows the capital’s streets well with 2018 marking his sixth excursion and is looking to beat his personal best of 3hrs and 23 minutes around the historic circuit. This will be his 18thmarathon.
He said: “It’s great to be back running for Prostate Cancer UK, which is a charity very close to both mine and Kevin’s hearts.
“Kevin fared brilliantly on his opening effort last year so I’m looking forward to running alongside him again and raising as much money and awareness as we can.”
James Beeby, Director of Fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “For many years now Kevin has been a wonderful supporter of us and we’re delighted that him and Chriswill again be part of our team this year, raising vital funds for Prostate Cancer UK.
“Many people are unaware that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. For the first time, the number of men dying from prostate cancer every year has overtaken the number of women dying from breast cancer, making prostate cancer the third biggest cancer killer in the UK.
“One man dies from prostate cancer every 45 minutes, but with the help of Kevin, Chris and our amazing cast of runners from across the UK we can make prostate cancer a disease that the next generation of men do not fear.
“Sport is an incredibly powerful way to reach out to men, and star names from the world of sport can help us continue to make a massive difference. We thank Kevin and Chris for joining the fight and wish them every success in the Virgin Money London Marathon.”
To sponsor Kevin and Chris please visit virginmoneygiving.com/sinfieldandstephenson, while Rhinos fans can also support the charity’s March for Men walking event in Leeds on Saturday, June 23rd. Roundhay Park, LS8 2HH, will host the event held over circa 2.5km, 5km and 10km – visit prostatecanceruk.org/march.