He’s best known for his achievements on the football field but Watford’s all time record goal scorer Luther Blissett will be championing a different cause – that of prostate cancer – at this year’s Silverstone Classic.
Now in its 26th year, the Silverstone Classic is firmly established as the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival, attracting more than 1,100 race entries.
Former England international Blissett has been involved before and even suffered a spectacular crash back in 2011, fortunately walking away unscathed after his Morgan Roadster lightweight race car barrel-rolled during a celebrity race.
This year however he will be at Silverstone from July 29-31 in his role as ambassador for Prostate Cancer UK after the organisation was announced as the official partner of the Silverstone Classic for the next three years.
The aim of the partnership – it is the first time the Silverstone Classic has aligned itself to a charity – is to raise both awareness of the disease and funds in order to help Prostate Cancer UK provide vital support and information to men and their families, and find answers by funding research into causes and treatments – something Blissett is passionate about.
He said: “We tend to be a little bit ignorant as men, and put it off til tomorrow but tomorrow is never soon enough. It’s important the message gets out there, with 1 in 8 in men in the UK getting prostate cancer and 1 in 4 if you are Afro-Caribbean like myself, it’s important that we are aware of the dangers of prostate cancer and we do something about it now.
“For raising awareness – not being sexist – but if you think the majority of people who come to things about motor racing are generally men.
“There are also a lot of women who like motor racing and it’s good that they come along as well as they can do the nagging for want of a better word, to make sure the men get themselves checked because it’s very important they do so.
“We’ll be here talking to people and reminding them. It all adds up to raising awareness, the more people we talk to and then they can talk to other people and the word gets around.
“We’ve also got a car that will be going round the circuit with the Prostate Cancer UK logo on it and it’s a great opportunity to spread the word as the car goes round.
“People will hopefully recognise the logo and that will prompt them to go on the website and see exactly what is going on and with that we can save more lives.”
A must-do event for classic car enthusiasts and their families, the Silverstone Classic drew a record crowd of more than 100,000 in 2015.
The three-day festival will feature the very best of historic racing covering more than eight decades of motor sport, as well as live music from the likes of the Stranglers, Reed and The Boomtown Rats and a wealth of family entertainment including a free vintage funfair.
“This will probably be about the third or fourth time I’ve been to the Silverstone Classic and I’ve actually taken part in two of them too. It is a fantastic event, people come here just to have fun,” added Blissett.
“You can just come along, look at all the shiny bits and the colours of the different cars.
“It’s a fantastic occasion. I’m hoping someone will allow me to go on the circuit in their car and I will try and bring it back in one piece.”
Impressive track parades, infield displays from over 100 car clubs, plus interactive driving activities and dynamic demonstrations. Entry is advanced ticket only and for full details – as well as hospitality packages and weekend festival camping – visit: www.silverstoneclassic.com