For Immediate Release - 15 April 2010
Nicky Johns retired from football in 1992 following a very successful career spanning 17 years playing for Millwall, Charlton Athletic and QPR. Despite suffering whiplash injuries to his neck from a car accident a few years ago, Nicky tries to stay fit. He says: "I help with a local adult football team and have recently got into walking with my wife. A couple of years ago I joined the local bowls club. Like most people I had always thought it was easy and not very physically demanding but have been surprised at the amount of walking I do whilst playing."
Nicky lost his son, Stephen, to bowel cancer at the young age of 26 and he and his family do a lot of work with the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK. He says: "Our daughter, Kirsty, and her friend, Stacey, ran a memorial fun day for Stephen last year and raised over £10,000, which was donated to the Bobby Moore Fund to aid research into bowel cancer.
"During the Bowel Cancer Awareness month of April and with the support of Crystal Palace, Millwall, Charlton Athletic and Bristol Rovers football clubs, we distributed Bobby Moore Fund bowel cancer awareness leaflets to football fans. We want to make young adults aware that bowel cancer doesn't just affect older people.
"With the continued support of family and friends we have also set up the Mr Brightside Project in Stephen's name to aid research into and raise awareness of bowel cancer."
Nicky recognises the importance of football as a way of reaching large male audiences. He says: "With men reluctant to discuss their own wellbeing and with the majority of supporters attending games every week being men, clubs can send a very clear message that their health and wellbeing matters and that they are valued."
Nicky is actively supporting National Men's Health Week (14-20 June 2010) organised by the Men's Health Forum which will encourage men and boys to be more physically active. Men’s Health Week will focus particularly on men aged over 35. He says: "It is important that we keep as active as possible and with the development of veteran football leagues we can all play to a ripe old age. Physical exercise comes in many forms – just walking daily or gardening can help us keep in good physical shape."
Dr Ian Banks, President, Men’s Health Forum said: “After the age of about 35, there's a sharp decline in the amount of physical activity men undertake and most cite pressure of work, stress, divorce and children as the causes. However, physical activity has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety as well as decreasing the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes and 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: www.malehealth.co.uk.
The Men’s Health Forum, a charity, is the centre of excellence for men’s health policy and practice. For further information about the Men’s health Forum visit www.menshealthforum.org.uk.
More information about the Bobby Moore Fund can be found at www.bobbymoorefund.org
The Mr Brightside Project was set up by family and friends in memory of Stephen Johns who, after a short battle against bowel cancer, died at the young age of 26. www.mrbrightsideproject.co.uk
Page created on April 15th, 2010
Page updated on April 23rd, 2010