Les Ferdinand MBE is a former English footballer and current football coach and Director of Football at his past club Queens Park Rangers. A former striker, his playing career included spells at Queens Park Rangers, Beşiktaş, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and he is the eighth highest scorer in the Premier League with 149 goals.
He went on to make 17 appearances for England, scoring on five occasions.
Since retiring from playing football, Les works tirelessly raising money and awareness for charities. As well as helping to arrange the Game for Grenfell, in the summer he cycled 145 miles in two days from London to Holland for the charity Prostate Cancer UK www.prostatecanceruk.org
A patient of Mervyn’s for many years, here Les talks to us about the charity Prostate Cancer UK.
You “Saddled Up” for the charity Prostate Cancer UK this summer, what did you do?
I saddled up for Prostate Cancer UK to ride from London to Amsterdam over two days. The event has been an amazing success over the past four years and I really enjoyed “saddling up” for the first time to raise money for a charity close to my heart.
Prostate cancer affects 330,000 men and their families in the UK, a staggering statistic. Think of a packed out Loftus Road and then imagine that almost 18 times over; those are the figures we are dealing with.
Why do you support Prostate Cancer UK?
Prostate cancer has been very prevalent in my family. So as well as raising awareness, I wanted to raise some much needed funds for the charity. I lost my granddad to prostate cancer and that’s why I’m supporting this charity.
One in eight men in the UK will be affected by this disease in their lifetime. However, black men are more at risk than any other ethnic group, as one in four will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives. The good news is that if it’s caught early, treatment is effective. So, if you are a man, over the age of 45, don’t ignore this message. Speak to your doctor about your risk and what you can do about it.
How would you like to raise awareness of prostate cancer?
I think the bike ride and other activities that Prostate Cancer UK are doing is really raising much needed awareness, but we still need to work hard to get the word out there more; because if caught early, more and more men can be cured.
You’ve had a very successful footballing career, what have been the highlights of it for you?
When I started playing professional football, I wanted to play at the highest level available to me and that meant representing the country of my birth. To have managed to achieve that on several occasions has to be the highlight for me.
You’ve been a patient of Mervyn’s for many years, what do you love about the practice?
The thing I enjoy about the practice is the friendliness of all the team. Going to the dentist is normally a daunting task but not coming here. I normally leave with a smile on my face (unless I’ve had an injection)! 🙂