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Footballers to play it for Sumner

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/08/2016
New Zealand Football Chief Executive Andy Martin © Getty Images New Zealand Football Chief Executive Andy Martin

All Whites legend Steve Sumner will have a stand at Christchurch's English Park named after him as part of a campaign to raise awareness of prostate cancer.

Sumner, who is battling the disease, will be in the spotlight this weekend as New Zealand Football urges teams around the country to "Play It for Steve".

The event will pay tribute to the captain of the All Whites' 1982 World Cup side, but also highlight prostate cancer and the need for men to get regular check-ups.

Sumner, 61, made 105 appearances for New Zealand, scoring 27 goals.

He says he's humbled to be the focus of the campaign.

"For me now, I feel I'm not losing any dignity bringing awareness about prostate cancer," he said.

"In fact, I gain strength from making men aware."

Prostate Cancer Foundation chief executive Graeme Woodside says the way Sumner has dealt his illness is an inspiration.

"From the time he was diagnosed, he has faced this disease as he would have faced the most intimidating opposition on the football pitch," he said.

"I admire his courage and tenacity in dealing with his prostate cancer, which is incredibly inspiring to many men facing the same challenge."

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