HUNDREDS of fans had a health check-up ahead of Blackburn Rovers’ game against Everton on Saturday.

Six marquees were put in place urging supporters to “organise their defence” against cancer, men’s health problems, including high cholesterol, and emotional wellbeing issues.

Health experts from across the county were on hand in the scheme, backed by club boss Sam Allardyce.

Big Sam, 55, underwent a heart operation earlier in the season after a health scare and he encouraged fans to look after themselves.

Allardyce said: “I do have a lot of male friends who have a problem seeing a doctor.

“I think it is a macho thing. It is very important to change this attitude as having that mentality could end up costing them dear.

“The early indicators of health issues, or not feeling yourself, are warning signs that something serious could happen if it is ignored. So it’s very important to see the GP and not ignore any symptoms.”

Representatives from NHS Blackburn with Darwen Teaching Care Trust Plus, sexual health experts, the stop smoking service, the Lancashire Cancer Network, the Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, and others, were on hand from noon at the Jack Walker Stand and the Darwen End.

Fans were given quick and painless health checks and talked to health professionals about improving their wellbeing by increasing physical activity through free schemes such as the Re:fresh programme, eating healthily, being aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer, and of sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, and pointed in the direction of more advice and support.

Rovers fan Geoff Bowden, 77, from Feniscowles, had both a cholesterol and blood pressure check when he visited the stand.

A season ticket holder since 1958, he said: “As you get older you try to take care of your health and this is a good opportunity to pick up any early signs of problems, because the sooner they are diagnosed the better.

“I think it’s a good thing. It really is excellent.”