A former Premier League footballer, who has seen the impact of diabetes first-hand, has joined up with Diabetes UK.
George Elokobi, 34, now lives with his young family in Essex and wants to share his passion for healthy living, emotional well-being and overcoming obstacles to support and inspire people living with diabetes.
George (pictured) has enjoyed an illustrious professional career which has included playing for Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premiership and Colchester United. He is currently captain at Maidstone United, where he is also an academy coach.
His journey to the top has been a long one and started in Cameroon in Africa. George’s beloved father Martin lived with type 1 diabetes for a number of years and died from complications of the condition when George was just 10 years old.
“When I was younger I remember a room full of syringes and watching my father struggle quite a lot,” said George.
“He didn’t just find the physical side of his diabetes difficult, but the emotional side of it - trying to manage it day in and day out really took its toll."
George moved to England when he was 16 and without any formal football coaching at all, managed to impress with his natural ability and was soon playing professionally and forging a career for himself.
However, the legacy of the loss of his father stayed with George and he is committed to using this experience to not only drive himself forward to be the best he can be, but also support others.
“I understand about hard work, discipline and the importance of a healthy body and healthy mind. I never take any of it for granted and want to help people, especially those managing a condition like diabetes, to help them to be their healthiest self," said George.
“The condition is relentless, so having the tools to support yourself mentally and physically is vital. This is why I’m delighted to be working with Diabetes UK to support local communities to get fitter and healthier, and there has never been a more important time to do this.”
Peter Shorrick, our Midlands and East Regional Head, said:
“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome George to the charity. He brings a wealth of experience and his own personal journey to support the vital work of Diabetes UK.
As George mentioned there has never been a more important time for us all to make our physical and mental health a priority. We are really looking forward to working with George as we continue to support people living with diabetes and together, create a world where diabetes can do no harm."