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12,000 Miles With A Bucket: Mark's Story

3 March 2017

Raise money for charity alongside super-volunteer and get a free ticket to the Ipswich Town match..

Football fans are known for their dedication, travelling miles to watch their beloved team play. But for super-volunteer Mark Vosper, it's Prostate Cancer UK’s'Men United Match Days' that he follows around the country, cumulatively journeying half-way round the globe to raise funds and awareness for the charity.

Travel 12,478 miles from London and you could reach New Zealand, almost half way around the world! Yet the closest Mark Vosper has got to Kiwi territory is the south coast of England.

That's because the 52-year-old football fan covered that distance by going to 64 football matches over the last three seasons through Prostate Cancer UK and the EFL’s match day collections and on 11th March, you can join him.

"When I started, I thought it would be a great way to mix my love of football and my desire to raise money for a charity that’s close to home," says Mark, whose father was diagnosed with prostate cancer 10 years ago.

"When he was diagnosed, none of us were clued up about it and my brother and I weren’t aware that we were at a greater risk due to the hereditary link. 

"So that’s why I wanted to do something to spread the word and raise money. Thankfully my dad is OK but it could’ve been a different story, like it is for so many other men."

Thanks to the official partnership with the EFL, volunteers can be seen with their black donation buckets collecting funds for the charity to help more men like Mark’s father.

Mark’s first match day collection was at Bolton Wanderers. And over the last three seasons, he’s gone on to collect at just about every football league ground in England and Wales thanks to the free rail travel from his former employer, Network Rail. 

He sees it as a great way to visit new places and has been overwhelmed by the support from football fans at clubs from all over the country.

"Not only are the other volunteers great, but the fans at each collection are also really supportive," says Mark. "I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the amount of fans who’ve been more than willing to donate – many of whom because they’ve been directly affected by prostate cancer."

And it's a rewarding experience for the volunteer as well as the charity....

"As well as getting a free ticket to the match and seeing some exciting games, it’s also nice to spend time with like-minded people who are all there to raise money for a great cause." Mark told us.

"So for anyone who’s considering signing up for a match, come along and give it a try! You’ll be welcomed by the leader and other volunteers and it’s a great day out. 

"I’ve already signed up for this season’s matches. Hopefully we’ll raise even more than last year!"

If you’re interested in volunteering at a match day, please visit: http://prostatecanceruk.org/get-involved/matchday-volunteering


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