Ex-Premier League footballer becomes Diabetes UK ambassador after father died from condition
- Credit: Archant
A former Premier League footballer, who has seen first-hand the impact of diabetes after losing his father to the condition, has teamed up with the charity Diabetes UK.
George Elokobi, 34, lives with his young family in the Braintree district and wants to share his passion for healthy living, emotional well-being and overcoming obstacles to support and inspire people living with diabetes.
The Cameroonian centre-half has enjoyed an illustrious professional career, which included playing for Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premiership.
He has also played for Colchester United and is currently captain at Maidstone United, where he is also an academy coach.
However, before moving to England to pursue his career, Elokobi suffered a tragic loss aged 10, when his beloved father Martin died from complications of Type 1 diabetes.
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Elokobi said that the loss of his father has driven him to get involved with Diabetes UK.
He said: “When I was younger I remember a room full of syringes and watching my father struggle quite a lot.
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“He didn’t just find the physical side of his diabetes difficult, but the emotional side of it - trying to manage it day in and day out really took its toll.
“The condition is relentless, so having the tools to support yourself mentally and physically is vital.
“This is why I’m delighted to be working with Diabetes UK to support local communities to get fitter and healthier, and there has never been a more important time to do this.”
Peter Shorrick, Diabetes UK Midlands and East regional head, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome George to the charity.
“He brings a wealth of experience and his own personal journey to support the vital work of Diabetes UK.
“As George mentioned, there has never been a more important time for us all to make our physical and mental health a priority.
“We are really looking forward to working with George as we continue to support people living with diabetes and together, create a world where diabetes can do no harm.
“People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin. About 8% of people with diabetes have Type 1. No-one knows exactly what causes it, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable.
“Type 1 diabetes is treated by daily insulin doses – taken either by injections or via an insulin pump.
“It is also recommended to follow a healthy diet and take regular physical activity.”