Helping to crack prostate cancer

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A FORMER Coleraine footballer is organising a series of events in the coming months to help raise awareness of Prostate Cancer.

Frankie ‘Basher’ Moffatt was diagnosed with the disease himself seven years ago.

Through the events ‘Basher’ is hoping to highlight the the importance of early diagnosis and to raise much needed funds for Prostate UK, who do vital research into the disease.

The first event took place on Friday night in the form of a ‘Moon Walk’.

Frankie was joined by his daughters Zara, Laura and Ruth, grandchildren Jon, Sara, Joe and Ben, family members and friends for the walk from Portstewart to Portrush and back.

Frankie would like to thank everyone who took part and Anne, Lila and Margaret who provided hot dogs and sandwiches for the weary walkers on their return home.

After being diagnosed with the disease seven years ago, Frankie under went a period of treatment and a nine hour operation in the form of a radical prostatectomy.

Since then he has undergone regular tests and monitoring, and hopes that very soon he will be given the all clear.

In anticipation of this, Frankie wants to not only raise funds for research, but also raise awareness of the disease.

He told The Times: “Every year 40,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with Prostate Cancer of whom 10,000 die - yet most men are unaware of the disease, tests are unreliable, treatments can cause life changing side effects and research is badly under funded.”

Mark Bishop, Director of Fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK was full of praise for the local man and his family and friends for their efforts: “ We are so grateful to the many people who raise money for Prostate Cancer UK.

“It is predicted to become the most common cancer by 2030, so it is vital we can count on the support of people like Frankie to help us fight this disease.”

To do this Frankie and his wife Anne, are now turning their attention to organising the next event.

And it’s something that is very close to Frankie’s heart.

As a former Coleraine player and a player and manager of Portstewart Football Club - the next fundraiser will be a ‘Legends’ match between Coleraine and Portstewart.

The game, on Sunday, May 5 at Mullaghacall will be a chance for players from the past to pull on the boots again.

Frankie explained: “Interest is already growing for the game, many players have been in contact with me to confirming their attendance.”

Further events include a quiz night and a ‘Night at the Races’ and the final event will be a ‘Big Birthday Bash’ at the Royal Court Hotel on Friday, July 19 when Frankie will celebrate his 60th.

Anyone wishing to support Frankie’s efforts can do so by going to his JustGiving