Hi Guys! The Blowfish here! And for once, I'm not talking about fish! No, in fact, today I'm going to tell you about something life changing. And face changing. In case you didn't already know, it's Movember and that means us peeps with the XY chromosome have the chance to garden our facial fur for a cause we can ALL get behind, beating the teeth out of prostate and testicular cancer!
Originally, I joined up with Movember because it was a laugh to grow a nice Mo and do some good at the same time! But on the 18th of May 2011, my Movember cause became personal. Keith "The Bishop" Jenkins died from prostate cancer just 12 days before his 72nd birthday.
I first met The Bishop at Lords Cricket Ground, in a group known as The Welsh Corner. Very quickly I knew he was a man of exceptional quality; passionate about his cricket and talented in the many ways of lunchtime cricket refreshments... and we're not talking about cups of tea here! The Bishop was a fiend for making jugs of Pimms and I was trained to ensure his recipe would continue to quench the cricket-induced thirst of The Welsh Corner members for years to come. Keith continued to come to the England Test Matches throughout his illness without complaint. The only protest we ever heard from Keith was the occasional "Harrumph" at the lack of good cricket, the horror of an empty glass or the cardinal sin... no mint for the Pimms!
The Bishop was a proud Welshman and before he was finally "bowled out", he had a chance to meet my, then fiancé, now wife (also Welsh) and provided me with his blessing that I was "finally marrying into some quality". Strange as fate may be, our wedding occurred on the 1st anniversary of Keith's death.
It's weird to think that Keith is gone. It almost seems as if next year, come the England Test, he'll be there, directing the action, harrumph-ing about the poor batting and munching down pies and cakes. It's also weird to try and write this down for you... it's sad. But I don't want it to be. I want it to be something you read and say: "You know what, I have a mate like that. I'll be damned if I'm gonna lose him without a fight!"
We're half way through Mo time! For The Bishop, for all the other wicked and wonderful chaps out there who are no longer with us AND for us - our dads, brothers, uncles, nephews and sons. If this is your first Movember, then congratulations! Get involved and change the face of men's health!
Blowfish's top mo tips! Firstly, commit, as you can see already it gets better every day! Secondly, wear it proudly, tell as many people as you can about your Mo and your MOtivation! And thirdly, join us again next year and the year after AND the year after that! Right up until we have knocked prostate cancer clean out of the park!
Follow Tom Hird on Twitter: www.twitter.com/theblowfish