While surviving testicular cancer already made 2014 a pretty special year for Adrian Flude, the Harlequins fan admitted he fulfilled a childhood dream last Friday night by being crowned ‘Man of Movember’ on the Twickenham Stoop pitch.
Adrian was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year but successfully had the tumour removed in October.
Although he suffered some complications from the original surgery, requiring a second procedure, he is now fully on the mend.
After being affected by the disease first-hand, Adrian decided to follow in the footsteps of many Aviva Premiership Rugby players and grow a moustache in order to raise money for the Movember Foundation, as well as awareness.
And it was the impressive nature of his ‘tache, combined with a trip to watch his beloved Harlequins play Sale Sharks, that enabled him to walk on the hallowed Stoop turf.
“Going to Quins on Friday was the very first time I’d been out on my own since the operation, so although I was quite excited, I must admit I was a little bit apprehensive,” he explained.
“As I walked up to my seat, I was collared by one of the Movember guys, who basically said ‘that’s a very fine moustache, sir’ and asked me if I wanted to come on the pitch at half-time to take part in a competition where the crowd judge who has the best moustache.
“Of course I said yes because I’m doing it for awareness. It was incredibly exciting because obviously you’re not normally allowed on the pitch, so that was very cool.
“When it came to my turn, there was a huge roar from the whole crowd and I ended up winning the whole thing.
“The fact that it was in front of over 13,000 people on Friday night was pretty awesome.
“Naturally, I wore the ‘Man of Movember’ sash with pride for the rest of the evening and it was lovely the amount of people who came up to congratulate me afterwards.”
Adrian has been a Harlequins fan for many years and until recently had a personalised plaque on his seat at the Stoop.
The father-of-four attended numerous Quins matches with his daughter Phoebe and it was her who suggested that the plaque read ‘Father and daughter – time well spent’.
His Movember donation page has surpassed £2,350 this month and Adrian is hopeful that a late push can earn the Foundation even more.
All the Premiership Rugby teams are also competing to see whose moustaches can earn the most money.
Northampton Saints’ Front Mo Union, led by England hooker Dylan Hartley, are currently top of the table with London Welsh second and the Rugby Writers ‘Tache Team third.
And Adrian insists that, along with the money raised, awareness about the diseases such as testicular and prostate cancer is vital.
“I didn’t expect to make as much money as I have done,” he added. “I thought if I could make £1000 then I would be happy.
“I’m humbled by how generous people have been but I’m hoping there will be a few last-minute donations as well.
“It’s about raising awareness for these diseases because they affect a lot of people – one in eight men will suffer from prostate cancer in their life. That’s a huge amount.”
You can donate to Adrian's Movember page by clicking here
To donate to – or join – one of the 12 Premiership Rugby Mo Teams click here