My role


Former Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday player Mel Sterland supports National Men’s Health Week 2010

For Immediate Release - 31 March 2010

Somebody who describes himself as a 'complete wreck' may not seem an obvious ambassador for National Men's Health Week 2010. However, ex-Leeds United footballer, Mel Sterland, has never been reticent about discussing his own health problems. Forced into premature retirement at the age of 29 by a serious tendon injury, Sterland struggled to come to terms with life outside the game. As related in his autobiography, Boozing, Betting & Brawling, published in 2008, he sought solace in alcohol and gambling and even attempted suicide.

Mel SterlandAs a professional footballer, Sterland helped Sheffield Wednesday gain promotion in 1984 before transferring to Glasgow Rangers. Rangers won the Scottish Premier League in the four months Sterland was with them before he moved to Leeds United and enjoyed more success. Nicknamed Zico because of his ferocious kick, Sterland was forced to retire after four operations on an ankle injury proved unsuccessful.

Now aged 41, Sterland's health has declined as he also suffers from deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and spondylosis (degenerative osteoarthritis of the joints of the spine). Although unable to walk more than 25 metres because of chronic pain, Mel still finds ways to keep active. He says: "I go to Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United football matches which gets me out into the fresh air. I also run Mel Sterland's All Stars – a kid's charity football team – which keeps me mentally active.”

Mel is actively supporting National Men's Health Week and advises all men, whatever their state of health, to do any physical and mental activities they can. He says: "As I know all too well, you can be at the peak of fitness one moment and on the road to decline the next. But you should never give up on your health – physical or mental."

This year, the annual National Men's Health Week (14-20 June 2010), organised by the Men's Health Forum, will encourage men and boys to be more physically active. Men’s Health Week will focus particularly on men aged over 35.

Dr Ian Banks, President, Men’s Health Fourm said: “After the age of about 35, there's a sharp decline in the amount of physical activity men undertake and many cite the pressures of work and family life as the reason. However, physical activity can reduce stress and anxiety as well as decreasing the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. It can even improve sexual performance.

“Men's Health Week 2010 will highlight the many ways of staying healthy, even for people who claim to be 'too busy’ to exercise. The Week is not just about encouraging more men to take part in sport – there are many other ways of staying healthy. Simple things such as using stairs instead of the lift, getting off the bus one stop earlier and walking the rest of the way, cleaning the car by hand rather than going to the car wash and so on.”.

To find out more about every aspect of men’s health, all men can visit:

Editor's notes:
Mel Sterland, A Footballers Life – Boozing, Betting & Brawling published by Green Umbrella

Media Contact:
Emma Woodridge or Rebecca Nicholls at Eventageous PR Ltd Tel: 01452 260063, or

Page created on March 31st, 2010

Page updated on April 23rd, 2010