Burnley FC vice-chairman Barry Kilby has turned author to help save more men from dying of prostate cancer.
Barry, who surrendered his post as Chairman of the club in 2012 to fight his own battle with the disease, has penned a novel that has already been a big hit digitally.
But now the book ‘As Good As Some’ has been produced in paperback to help raise funds for the appeal in his name, and to raise more awareness of the UK's biggest killer of middle-aged-men.
The book also contains two new football poems, written to reflect Barry’s childhood experiences of travelling to matches with his late father and the contrasting experiences of a football chairman.
Barry, who is using football as a novel way of encouraging men to be tested early for symptoms of the disease, said: “The book was something I had in my head for a long time, and I’ve tried to use it to complement and help fund the Barry Kilby Prostate Cancer Appeal.
“We managed to get it out digitally on Amazon, where we have managed to sell copies all over the world and now, with the thanks of local printers B&D Print, we are making it much more portable and accessible through a paperback version, again to raise money for BKPCA.
“I enjoyed writing it, although I don’t think Charles Dickens has anything to worry about!”
Barry’s inspirational idea to involve football clubs in testing men for prostate cancer has become a huge success.
Strong evidence suggests that early warnings of a raised PSA can lead to early treatment of the killer disease, which will affect one in eight men at some time in their lives.
Ten testing events have taken place across East Lancashire, with 3,391 men tested and over 300 referred to general practitioners for further testing; many of whose lives have been saved.
Barry, who already has a further 10 sessions at football clubs planned for 2019, including as far afield as Charlton Athletic and Portsmouth, now wants to roll the scheme out nationally.
He explained: “The whole scheme has really picked up pace and it’s absolutely clear to me that football has a part to play in saving lives.
“Along with the East Lancashire Prostate Cancer Group, who do a lot of good work to help us, we have proved that men will go down to their local football club with their mates to get tested, where going to the doctors is something we procrastinate on time and time again.
“Also, of course, the football clubs are a great publicity angle in embracing this and getting the message out to male supporters.
“We are expanding rapidly and pushing into prostate cancer testing through football at many more grounds.
“We have really gone a long way in a short space of time and I am absolutely determined to roll this out through football now and get as many men tested as we can and save lives. I can feel it gathering momentum and going national.”
The paperback version of ‘As Good As Some’, which includes two new football poems written by Barry, is now available through the Clarets Store at Turf Moor, priced just £2.50.
All funds raised from the sale of the book will go to the Barry Kilby Prostate Cancer Appeal and will find prostate cancer testing at football grounds across the country.