Tina Pinder, from South Milford in North Yorkshire, said she is “blown away” that Prostate Cancer UK is paying tribute to husband Lloyd by visiting two football clubs that “meant the world to him” during the March for Men events in August.
Mrs Pinder, 49, said her husband’s death, in September 2020, has left “a hole” in their family’s life and urged other men to see their doctor if they think they could be at risk from the disease.
In his fourth March for Men event, Sky Sports presenter Stelling is walking four marathons in four regions in tribute to “great friends” Mr Pinder and former England goalkeeper Ray Clemence, who also died from prostate cancer last year.
Mr Pinder met Stelling on his first ever walk in 2016 and the pair struck up a friendship, with Mr Pinder walking again in 2017 and meeting the pundit on the finish line at Tottenham Hotspur in 2019, when he was not well enough to walk.
When Mr Pinder died last year, Stelling – who has raised more than £1 million to fund life-saving research to improve testing, treatments and care for those affected by prostate cancer – spoke about his death on air that day and later attended his funeral.
This year, Mrs Pinder will join Stelling for the first two stages – from Newcastle United to the home of her husband’s beloved Sunderland AFC, and from Harrogate Town to Leeds United, with a poignant stop at Kirk Deighton Rangers AFC, in Wetherby, the club where Mr Pinder played for more than 30 years.
Mrs Pinder said: “I think it is going to be extremely emotional for me but I can’t imagine not doing it. It’s just something I feel I’ve got to do.
“Jeff is doing this one in the North East and Yorkshire for Lloyd’s legacy really, so I felt it was my obligation, my duty, to just keep up the good work that he’s done and try and raise a lot more money for the charity.”
Mrs Pinder said her “loyal” and “loving” husband would be “overwhelmed” that he had inspired the routes of the two stages.
She said: “Just the fact that people are still talking about him and doing things in his name, he would be buzzing on, it’s such an honour for him, it shows just how inspirational he was and how many people he touched.
“He did so much work for Prostate Cancer UK over the years and he enjoyed doing it and got a lot out of it personally.
“But, for him, it was all about raising awareness and raising funds for research so I’m blown away that they’re doing it, I feel really quite humbled by it and I know he would be absolutely so excited.”
Mr Pinder was just 44 and father to two young girls – Gracie, now 12, and Lola, now eight – when he received his terminal diagnosis and told that he had between five and 10 years to live.
Mrs Pinder said: “What kept him going was his positivity. He thought he was always going to be able to find a cure.”
The mother-of-two said her husband’s “strength and determination” was an inspiration to many and she described him as “great fun”.
She said: “We miss him. He was a massive part of so many people’s lives but, for me and my girls, he was always here, and the house is a lot quieter without him – it’s maybe a bit tidier as well – but there’s a hole. There’s a real hole.
“He was so loud and full of life that you couldn’t miss him and that’s not there now.”
Mrs Pinder urged all men to visit the Prostate Cancer UK website and check their risk.
She said: “It’s not just an old man’s disease so please don’t ignore it, go and see your GP.”
For more information about Jeff Stelling’s March for Men visit the Prostate Cancer UK website and to make a donation go to www.justgiving.com/campaign/jeffsmarch