The Oldham Athletic youth players have taken part in a trial to test their skin for a dangerous form of cancer, Melanoma.
Melanoma is one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancer but it is one of the most curable if caught early.
It has a 98% chance of good recovery if it is cut out in time, however, there is a 2% of it returning and it has the ability to spread very quickly.
Sadly, former Oldham Athletic footballer Paul Futcher passed away recently in November 2016 from the disease and strides are being made to ensure fellow footballers are tested for the disease.
Latics are one of six clubs who are taking part in the trial, along with Rochdale, Bury, Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End and Huddersfield Town.
Gillian Nuttall, founder of Melanoma UK, said: “It has occurred to me over some time that there is a problem with football and other sports.
“Players and coaches are all training outside and probably don’t give too much thought to the effects it has on their skin.
“Some of the players will say they have used sun beds and that can be a huge risk of getting Melanoma so we just want to get them out of that mindset.
“If one lad goes away and has second thoughts about using a sun bed or applying higher factor sun cream then I know I’ve done my job and we could have potentially saved someone from Melanoma.”
Director of Education at the Players Football Association (PFA), Patrick Lally, added: “There has been an issue over the years with players being diagnosed with Melanoma and the PFA believe it was our organisation it was our responsibility to set up a pilot programme.
“This was to give younger players the opportunity to have themselves screened and if there was any problems then they could be addressed accordingly.
“This is only a pilot programme at the moment but if it’s successful then we are looking to role it out on a national basis in the future.
“I personally saw the deterioration of Paul Futcher so if we can prevent that happening to any future player then that’s what we want to do and hopefully this programme will do it for us.”
Youth team boss Tony Philliskirk commented: “I was contacted to take part in a pilot scheme with Melanoma UK to be tested for skin cancer and I’ve spoken to Patrick and Gillian about it and we were happy to be involved.
“The lads had a talk from the pair about the dangers of using sun beds and the importance of applying sun screen. The lads listened to them, they are young and hopefully the message got across to them.”
Pictured is youth team striker Brad Kay being tested for Melanoma.