West Bromwich Albion manager Bryan Robson is urging men across the Midlands to stay in shape as part of a campaign to prevent cancer.
The 48-year-old former England player is backing Cancer Research UK's Man Alive campaign, which aims to raise awareness of cancer among men and how to cut the risk. Obesity may now be responsible for more than 40,000 cases of cancer in British men.
Mr Robson said: "There are millions of football fans out there, including thousands of Albion fans. Statistics show many of them could be putting their lives at risk. If I can encourage just one person to change their lifestyle by backing this campaign then it will be worth it."
His support follows the release of a Cancer Research UK survey which showed about one in four British men were in denial about their weight problems.
He added: "I was staggered to learn that 22 per cent of UK men are obese, but only one per cent think they are. The Man Alive campaign aims to get men thinking and even if they start just doing a bit of light exercise once a week, it will help to reduce their chance of being diagnosed with cancer."
National data shows that 65 per cent of men are overweight or obese. But the survey of more than 2,000 men found that 25 per cent would not admit they were carrying any extra weight.
In the West Midlands, around 68 per cent of men had no idea that being overweight increases their chance of developing cancer.