The Football League Paper - - MARTIN LING -

SI­MON GRAYSON is a man used to dol­ing out lec­tures. As a man­ager the 45-year-old has given plenty of in­spi­ra­tional speeches.

But not to­day.To­day, the for­mer Le­ices­ter de­fender has swapped his track­ies for a lab coat, the bibs and balls of the train­ing ground for the slides and sy­ringes of a cut­ting-edge univer­sity lab­o­ra­tory.

And like ev­ery­one hud­dled into a meet­ing room at York Univer­sity’s Went­worth Col­lege, he lis­tens rapt as Pro­fes­sor Nor­man Mait­land ex­plains his pi­o­neer­ing re­search in prostate can­cer.

The facts are star­tling. Ac­cord­ing to re­cent sta­tis­tics, 40 per cent of men over the age of 50 have an en­larged prostate. The vast ma­jor­ity are harm­less. Many are not. In the UK, the dis­ease still kills one man ev­ery hour. Grayson knows that bet­ter than any­one. His best mate Stephen Gar­bett died in Septem­ber 2014, prompt­ing the Pre­ston boss to join 250 oth­ers in a char­ity

cy­cle ride from Ley­ton Ori­ent’s Bris­bane Road to Ajax’s Am­s­ter­dam Arena. His team raised £42,000 and this visit to York is to see where that cash is be­ing spent.

“It’s great to see first-hand what these fan­tas­tic peo­ple are do­ing to try and find a cure for this hor­ri­ble dis­ease,” said Grayson, who will ride to Am­s­ter­dam once again in June.

“I said it on the night of the ride that I took as much sat­is­fac­tion from get­ting that medal at the Am­s­ter­dam Arena as I did from win­ning the play-offs at Wem­b­ley three weeks ear­lier.

“I hadn’t been on a bike in years be­fore train­ing, so to ride 150 miles in two days and raise over £40,000 gave me great sat­is­fac­tion. See­ing where it’s go­ing makes it even more worth­while. I can’t wait to go again and, this time, I hope we can hit £500,000.” Prostate Can­cer UK, the Of­fi­cial Char­ity Part­ner of The Football League, will stage the Football to Am­s­ter­dam cy­cle chal­lenge from June 3-5, 2016 with riders now able to roll out from Lon­don and a new start point in York­shire, Oak­well, home of Barns­ley FC. Early-bird prices for Football to Am­s­ter­dam 2016 are just £99 and for more in­for­ma­tion about the ride, visit prostate­can­ceruk. org/am­s­ter­dam or con­tact the cy­cling team by call­ing 020 8222 7158 or send­ing an email to cy­cling@prostate­can­

PIC: Prostate Can­cer UK

DIF­FER­ENT ROLES: Grayson is in­ter­viewed, left, and then lis­tens in­tently at York Univer­sity

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