Ebbsfleet United’s Mambo Number 5 shirt proves a hit
You knew it was going to happen…
Life as a defender in the National League doesn’t usually make back-page news, but Ebbsfleet United’s Yado Mambo hopes being the talk of Twitter can help him do his bit to raise the profile of the fight against Prostate Cancer.
Ebbsfleet and their fans have long known about Mambo’s incongruous shirt number. Now, the rest of football and social media has finally caught on.
Centre-back Dave Winfield, though, is not about to give up his jersey despite the thousands of retweets calling for Ebbsfleet to have their own Mambo No 5 in honour of Lou Bega’s 1999 number one hit.
However, an on-line auction of a special edition shirt has quickly raised £800 and counting in aid of charity Prostate Cancer UK.
Mambo came through the youth system at Charlton.
The 26-year-old hopes the funds raised will help battle a disease that is the most common cancer in men and was one which Ebbsfleet executive vice chairman Peter Varney, a former chief executive with the Addicks, found himself diagnosed with two years ago.
“I know the song well, and have had shouts of ‘Mambo Number Five’ all through my playing career, so this is nothing new. But it’s never gone as extreme as this,” said Mambo.
“It’s mad how quickly this has blown up, but it’s absolutely brilliant and for such a good cause too. To think this might help to save someone’s life is great to know.
“I’ve known Peter for a long time and he’s done a lot for me in my career, so to hear his news was a real shock to me and all the players.
“Hopefully the money and media attention raised from this will help make a difference to support men like him and increase awareness of the disease.”
One in eight men will be affected by the disease in the UK in their lifetime, but if you are a black man those odds increase to one in four.
Mambo added: “There is no embarrassment checking with your doctor if you are worried and it is something I need to sit down and talk to my family and friends about. The more men we make aware the better.”
Varney, 63, had to have his prostate removed after the cancer gradually became more aggressive, but hopes the profile of Ebbsfleet’s own Mambo No 5 can help other men catch any problems with an early diagnosis
“Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, and 330,000 men are living with the disease, that’s more than 73 times the capacity of Stonebridge Road,” said Varney, who was chief executive at Charlton during the south-east London club’s time in the Premier League under manager Alan Curbishley.
“One man dies every 45 minutes, which is something we need to turn around. The more we can all do our bit to raise awareness of this disease, the better the outlook will be for men in the future.
“If you’re over 50, I would urge you to go and speak to your GP. Please don’t be like most men and put it off; book a doctor’s appointment now. It might save your life.”
Varney added: “We wanted to give something back, and on the same day we hosted a match day collection, people gave us a bit of light-hearted banter for giving Yado the number 18 and not number 5.
“Following the momentum it picked up on Twitter we decided to give the fans what they want and auction a one-off shirt.”
:: Bidding for the shirt ends at 8.46am on November 23. Visit the on-line auction here Mambo No.5 Ebbsfleet United shirt in aid of Prostate Cancer UK