Former Essex cricketer’s Cromer Movember fundraiser inspired by cancer battle

Former professional cricketer Steve Howe (right) and Halsey House carers Phil Robinson (left) and Fe

Former professional cricketer Steve Howe (right) and Halsey House carers Phil Robinson (left) and Ferdi Reis sporting 'taches for the month of Movember. Photo: Karen Bethell - Credit: Archant

The annual Movember charity event is a cause close to former professional cricketer Steve Howe's heart.

Halsey House staff nurse Hilary Anderson and resident Sylvia Goddard, 81, join in the Movember fun.

Halsey House staff nurse Hilary Anderson and resident Sylvia Goddard, 81, join in the Movember fun. Photo: Karen Bethell - Credit: Archant

For two years ago, at the age of 49, his life was turned upside down when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

"Mo Bros": Halsey House carer Fran Plummer (left) and senior nurse Annette Dawson with resident Dere

"Mo Bros": Halsey House carer Fran Plummer (left) and senior nurse Annette Dawson with resident Derek Griffiths, 87. Photo: Karen Bethell. - Credit: Archant

'Something didn't feel quite right when I was playing, so I went to see the doctor and, three weeks later, I was in hospital having surgery,' Mr Howe explained.

As a fit and active cricketer who had played for Essex for 17 years, cancer had been last thing on Mr Howe's mind.

'It was quite a shock,' he said. 'But there are people who I know through sport who have had testicular cancer in their 20s. It is something men should know about.'


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Keen to help raise awareness, a few weeks ago Mr Howe, who is a print manager for a Norfolk firm, set about growing a 'Mo' and, when they heard about his efforts, his partner Annette Dawson and her colleagues Phil Robinson and Ferdi Reis decided to get in on the act.

Ms Dawson, who is a senior nurse at Halsey House, Cromer, teamed up with Fran Plummer, who is a carer at the Royal British Legion residential home, to organise a bake sale with raffle and games.

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Senior carer Mr Reis and carer Mr Robinson joined in the fun by asking family, friends and colleagues to sponsor their newly-grown 'taches.

The event, which was held at Halsey House on Saturday, saw staff, residents and visitors sport stick-on moustaches.

It raised more than £500 for the Movember Foundation charity, which aims to raise awareness and funds for men's health issues, including prostate and testicular cancer.

'It started just as growing a moustache which I'd hoped would raise maybe £200, but we had such fantastic support, it just snowballed,' Mr Howe said. 'Everybody has been amazing, baking cakes for us and donating raffle prizes.'

Two years on from his surgery and chemotherapy treatment, Mr Howe, who lives at Trimingham, is back to playing cricket.

'I do still have four-monthly check-ups, but I have been very lucky,' he said. 'I think men are the worst culprits when it comes to things like this, but what is important to know is that, caught early testicular cancer is relatively simple to treat, but, if not, it can be a killer.'

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