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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Nicole Vassell

Steve Rider tells men to ‘recognise your vulnerability’ after prostate cancer diagnosis


Sports commentator Steve Rider has shared a message encouraging men to be conscious of their health after his prostate cancer diagnosis.

Rider, 73, was told he had the disease last month after a biopsy.

The former Grandstand and Sportsnight presenter will undergo surgery to treat it this weekend. Ahead of the operation, Rider shared some insight into his journey to diagnosis, which began when a friend was diagnosed during a routine health check.

“He had a scan which showed some alarming things going on with the prostate and within a month he had the full operation and that woke everybody up because he had no symptoms and very fit guy, and roughly our age,” Rider told the PA news agency.

After initially testing, Rider’s readings for cancer were “not that high”, so he’d planned not to take further action. His wife, Jane, urged him to have further tests, and a biopsy was taken.

He continued: “I thought the worst that can happen is that I’m going to be monitored for the next six months or so and we got the results of the biopsy the next day and they said, ‘No, you come in as soon as you can, we’re going to operate.’”

Rider said his diagnosis was aided by his friends having open conversations and his wife encouraging him to get further tested.

“We do tend to treat these things a little bit like getting your eyes tested or ears done, you can put it off and maybe think ‘Well, I’ll wait till the symptoms come’.

“Symptoms don’t come and when they do, it is probably too late.”

Steve Rider
— (PA)

He added: “The message is to recognise your vulnerability, especially with age and family history and so on. And if you do feel that you fall into those categories, then get yourself checked.”

According to the charity Prostate Cancer UK, 144 men are diagnosed across the country each day – more than 52,000 per year.

Rider’s former BBC colleague Bill Turnbull died in August 2022, nearly five years after being diagnosed. After sharing his diagnosis publicly in March 2018, Turnbull detailed his treatment in a Channel 4 documentary called Staying Alive.

Speaking about the late broadcaster, Rider said: “The great thing about Bill was that he wanted to turn his misfortune into an information campaign which would save hundreds of others and I’m sure that probably hundreds and thousands of men have stepped back from a really serious cancer because of the attention that Bill Turnbull brought to early diagnosis and testing.

“And apart from that, he was a lovely, lovely guy.”

Broadcaster Bill Turnbull died in 2022 (Classic FM/PA)
— (PA Archive)

Rider found out that he had cancer the day after taking part in sports presenter Jeff Stelling’s charity Football March in Turnbull’s honour.

Prostate Cancer UK has said the disease affects one in eight men in the UK and that more than 12,000 men die every year from the condition.

They advise that if a man is over the age of 50, Black, or has a family history of prostate cancer that he may want to speak to a GP as these are higher risk factors.

To find out more about your prostate cancer risk, or that of your partner, father or friend, you can visit Prostate Cancer UK’s website – – and try the 30-second online risk checker.

Additional reporting by PA

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