Sunderland footballers urged to check their tackle

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FOOTBALLLERS on Wearside are being to urged to check for lumps as a new league rolls into the city.

Leisure Leagues is Europe’s largest, small-sided football provider and now it is looking to tackle a bigger problem.

The league is working to encourage men to regularly check themselves for cancer.

Executive director of Leisure Leagues, Stephanie Bullock, said: “Every year in the UK, around 2,000 cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed.

“The most common symptoms are a painless lump or swelling on one of the testicles, usually noticed by the patient.

“This is why we want to encourage men to take matters into their own hands, so to speak.”

The new league will kick off at the Raich Carter Centre next month, with all profits going to charitable causes, environmentally-sustainable projects and a substantial donation to Cancer Research UK.

“We are the only national provider of small-sided leagues which is committed to putting all its surplus profits into good causes.

“We are very proud to be associated with such charities as Cancer Research, who are the UK’s leading charity dedicated to cancer research,” added Stephanie.

Testicular cancer kills on average 100 men each year in the UK.

It is a disease that has affected a number of high-profile sportsmen in recent years.

Former Sunderland defender Alan Stubbs was twice diagnosed with testicular cancer, while retired Welsh footballer John Hartson and former Tour de France cyclist Lance Armstrong have both battled the disease.

Leisure Leagues will run every Thursday night, starting on November 22.

The astroturf pitches, at the Raich Carter Centre, will see 24 teams playing 36-minute matches, across three divisions.

If you would like to enter a team, phone Leisure Leagues on 0845 230 2340, or alternatively visit www.leisureleagues.net.