‘Cheers’ from Drayton man whose life was saved by a pint of Norfolk ale

Alan Pickering, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer last year has now got his local, at The Bob

Alan Pickering, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer last year has now got his local, at The Bob Carter Centre, to sell the charity beer Tobi's Tipple. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A father-of-two is today saying 'cheers' to a healthy prognosis after his life was saved by a pint of ale.

Alan Pickering, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer last year has now got his local, at The Bob

Alan Pickering, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer last year has now got his local, at The Bob Carter Centre, to sell the charity beer Tobi's Tipple. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Alan Pickering only discovered he had testicular cancer after being prompted to check for symptoms by the charity beer, Tobi's Tipple.

The ale – by Norfolk Brewhouse and supported by the charity It's On the Ball – was created to raise aware-ness about the disease.

And it was thanks to the promotional material that came with the pint, that Mr Pickering, from Drayton, realised something was wrong.

The 54-year-old said: 'I had been reading a poster in the pub toilets, and it made me stop and think, 'What is this? Something doesn't feel right'.


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'There was a lump on my testicle, it was hard, and it felt like it shouldn't be there.'

After a visit to his local GP, Mr Pickering was immediately referred to a consultant and diagnosed with stage one testicular cancer.

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He was told the disease had not spread elsewhere in his body because he had spotted the signs early.

And in February, he underwent treatment at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, followed by brief course of chemotherapy in March.

Having since undergone regular check-ups, Mr Pickering is back at work in the gas and oil industry, and has been given a 'good' prognosis by his GP.

He said: 'I emailed the brewery to say 'did you know your beer saves lives?' Because I would not have done anything about it if it had not been on that poster, or it would have taken me longer to realise something was wrong.

'Some people I speak to regarding my experience seem to be very uncomfortable and embarrassed about the subject. Please try and get over this, I don't like to think where I would be today if I'd been too embarrassed to visit my GP.'

It was only thanks to Mr Pickering that the bar at this local leisure centre, the Bob Carter Centre, in Drayton, had even stocked the charity ale in the first place.

He asked for a barrel to be ordered after hearing about the campaign the brewery was supporting.

Norfolk Brewhouse brewer and co-owner David Holliday, said: 'To us, supporting It's On The Ball is a no brainer, by spreading a simple message we can all easily help save lives. While incredibly heartening to know that we made a difference to Alan's life. It also shows the simplicity of what we are trying to do – just spread the word.'

Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer amongst young men.

Norwich-based charity It's On the Ball was set up in 2013 to help raise awareness and provide support to people who have been diagnosed.

Chairman Vince Wolverson said 'We really appreciate the support given to us by Rachel, David, and all the staff at the Norfolk Brewhouse.

'Not only are they helping us to raise awareness across the county, but as we have seen in Alan's case, helping to save lives too.'

The charity ale is back on tap this month at more than 70 pubs and clubs across Norfolk.

Do you have a health story to share with readers? Email health correspondent Nicholas Carding at nicholas.carding@archant.co.uk

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