Sir Bobby joins cancer awareness team'

FORMER Ipswich Town and England manager Sir Bobby Robson has teamed up with premiership footballers to launch a national cancer awareness campaign, targeted at men.

FORMER Ipswich Town and England manager Sir Bobby Robson has teamed up with premiership footballers to launch a national cancer awareness campaign, targeted at men.

Current Newcastle United manager Robson agreed to be pictured as "manager" of a "Man Alive FC" squad, which includes footballers such as Arsenal's Sol Campbell, David James from West Ham and Arsenal's Ashley Cole, whose lives have all been touched by cancer, in some way.

Robson, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 1995, followed by treatment for a malignant growth in his nose three years later.

He said: "I've beaten cancer twice but I can't say whether it will get me in the end. I feel an obligation to tell people they have to tackle cancer head on if they are to have a chance of beating it."


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The Man Alive photograph is to be sold in Cancer Research Shops as a Father's Day card to persuade men to pay more attention to their health.

Cancer has blighted the lives of several East Anglian footballers, including former Ipswich Town players Jason Cundy and Craig Forrest, who both fought testicular cancer and the club's assistant manager Dale Roberts, who died from Hodgkins Lymphoma earlier this year.

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Highly rated striker Neil Harris, who played for Maldon Town before moving to Millwall, was also struck down with testicular cancer aged 23.

Cundy, who now lives in Hampshire and is in good health, said: "The Man Alive campaign is a great way of raising awareness. In football, you have a captive audience of men who are of the age when cancers start to be a worry."

England and West Ham goalkeeper David James, part of the Man Alive squad, spoke of the moment his former Hammers team mate Craig Forrest, now living in Canada, discovered his cancer.

He said: "When Craig first noticed a lump in his ball it was a big joke in the changing rooms but the laughs soon stopped when he went for tests and revealed a major problem. He went through a lot and it left him unable to continue with his playing career. I'll never make a joke out of something like that again and I will regularly check myself."

Robson, revealed how he only discovered his nasal tumour after his wife nagged him into seeing a doctor when he was having sinus problems.

"If she hadn't done that I might not be here today," he said. www.cancerresearchuk.org/manalive

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