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Ray Winstone's new friendship film - also starring Peter Varney

Hi everyone. Thanks for letting me post here.

A few people on here might remember the GH initials from my time in the Charlton press team, and I'm now almost eight years into a stint at Prostate Cancer UK. I still try and keep up with events at The Valley as much as I can, and have made the odd trip back too. There's always a warm welcome and still a few familiar faces about as well.

I wanted to share a new film we pushed out earlier this week, starring Ray Winstone and two of his great mates that have both come through prostate cancer, the most common cancer in men.

One of the men in question is Peter Varney, who is a long time pal of Ray's, and in the film there's some cracking anecdotes about the support he had from the CAFC family. If you happen to have a spare 20 minutes it's well worth a watch. There's some nice mentions of the club in there, but also some honest chat about the disease.

If anyone has any concerns or worries about prostate cancer, I'd strongly suggest visiting the Prostate Cancer UK website, which you can click through from the below links, and please, feel free to pop any comments about the video on this thread or share our Twitter post.

Thanks so much again for your time and hope you enjoy (was tempted to say who is on board, for old times sake!)

Gary (GH)

Ray Winstone launches new film with mates to celebrate their friendship and prostate cancer recovery


·         Prostate Cancer UK celebrate male friendship as part of ‘Men, we are with you’ campaign

·         Close friends and prostate cancer survivors Gary Pettit and Peter Varney join Ray Winstone to make film debut in ‘The Sit Down’

·         The film is an honest and frank discussion of their prostate cancer journeys, and Ray’s support

·         Watch ‘The Sit Down’ now 


Hollywood actor Ray Winstone this week proudly launches his latest film, The Sit Down. Based on true events, this inspiring, humorous and honest production lifts the lid on how friendship can carry you and your loved ones through adversity.   


In an intimate, moving and personal performance, two-time BAFTA nominee Winstone, famed for his performances in Nil by Mouth and Sexy Beast, is joined by newcomers Gary Pettit and Peter Varney, the trio bonded by football, business and Prostate Cancer UK. 

“You choose who your friends are. It’s not like family; they’re your family and you love them dearly, but to choose a friend is down to you,” said Ray, at the premier of the film, shot at the leading men’s health’s charity offices in London Bridge earlier this summer. 

The feel-good film tells the story of how a Hollywood star, a city trader and a football consultant sit down to discuss their friendship amid a backdrop of uncertainty and heartache. 

We hear the powerful stories from two of Ray’s closest pals Pettit and former Charlton Athletic CEO Varney, two men who have come back from the brink after suffering life-changing news about their health. 

Diagnosed with prostate cancer, the most common cancer in men, they talk about their road to recovery after that shattering news, and how the power of friendship drove them on. 

In another passionate performance, Winstone anchors the production, showcasing his tender side while recalling his role in supporting his pals through their travails, while the honesty and pragmatism of Pettit and dry wit of Varney make for scene-stealing cameos.  

The critics have been quick to praise the production too with Angela Culhane, Chief Executive of Prostate Cancer UK saying: “Wonderfully authentic. This powerful film perfectly encapsulates the bond between Ray, Gary and Peter. It’s not to be missed. 

“Our mantra is ‘Men, we are with you’ and this fantastic film perfectly illustrates that, via the power of friendship in the fight against prostate cancer. 

“It’s great that Gary and Peter have shared their stories with openness, honesty and humour, and Ray’s support to two close friends affected by the most common cancer in men is really moving. 

“This is a must-see film exploring so many emotions, and you may learn a bit too.” 

Pettit, who had his prostate removed in 2012, met Winstone when the duo had neighbouring executive boxes at West Ham United’s former home, Upton Park. The duo quickly became friends and are co-founders of agency, Integral Sports Management.

He said: “It was a pleasure to play a part in this film. For me it’s about taking a positive from a negative; getting that message out there because there’s still so much that people don’t know. Just last week someone called me to say they had been diagnosed so I’m grateful I can try and help. 

“One thing is always prevalent in that when me or Ray speak passionately about it, people listen. That’s why we have to try and keep getting the message out.” 

Varney, who like Pettit has recovered from prostate cancer, and is affectionately known as Integral’s ‘Head of Intelligence’, laughed as he recalled his siblings hosting a mock will reading at his bedside, and insisted humour has played a big part in his recovery. 

He said: I think using humour to deal with it can be much better. Nobody really wants to hear you go, ‘oh, that is terrible, the operation was terrible, and I feel terrible’, because people just switch off, don’t they? 

“I’ve always had some good humoured banter with the former Charlton manager Alan Curbishley and several others from my time at the club. He’s still going on now about not having all the Scott Parker transfer money to spend when we sold him to Chelsea. On my second day in hospital, this picture of a JCB came through from Alan saying that “while you’re in, we’re trying to find the money in your back garden.” People will say that’s inappropriate, but it was really funny.

“Hopefully people watching will also see that you don’t have to go into a shell and think ‘I’ve been ill, it’s terrible, I don’t know whether it will come back.’ You know, life is for living today, isn’t it? So go out and achieve your dreams.” 

Winstone added: “I really don’t know how I’d react in that position, so I’ve got nothing but admiration for both Gary and Peter. They are top notch.  

“Men don’t talk about things like this, but it’s getting better. We’re doing it now, which is great. 

“And one thing about hearing Gary’s story, I now have a full medical every year, and it ain’t just for me, it’s for my family as well and my kids, because I want to see them grow up, I want to see my grandchildren grow up, and I ain’t finished yet, I’ve got a lot of things I want to do, hopefully I’ll get some of them done.”     

Prostate cancer will affect one in eight men in their lifetime in the UK, and those statistics intensify to one in four if you are black. 

You can watch “The Sit Down’ via 


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