Wembley Stadium’s iconic arch goes blue for World Diabetes Day

Gary Mabbutt, former Tottenham Hotspur legend and type 1 diabetic, joined councillors and campaigner

Gary Mabbutt, former Tottenham Hotspur legend and type 1 diabetic, joined councillors and campaigners for World Diabetes Day - Credit: Archant

The iconic Arch at Wembley Stadium turned blue yesterday with a football legend present to raise awareness of diabetes.

Gary Mabbutt, former Tottenham Hotspur player and type 1 diabetic, joined Krishna Sarda from Diabetes UK and Cllr Krupesh Hirani from Brent Council for World Diabetes Day at Brent Civic Centre for the light up.

Brent’s Diabetes Champions were in Engineers Way and at Asda in Forty Lane, with a range of information on healthy eating and offering a free ‘Know Your Risk’ assessment to residents.

More than 25,178 people are recorded as having diabetes in Brent, around 1 in 13 of the total population, more than any other London borough.

Mr Mabbutt, 55, said: “It’s vital that we increase awareness of the condition and the importance of a healthy lifestyle and that’s what World Diabetes Day is all about. I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 17 and had to manage it throughout my career at Spurs. The key is to be as informed as possible, so it’s great to be involved in raising the profile in Brent.”

Mr Sarda, engaging communities manager at Diabetes UK, said: “Type 2 diabetes is serious and if left undiagnosed or untreated it can lead to devastating health complications such as stroke, blindness and amputation. However, identified and managed well this doesn’t have to be the case.”

Brent Council works with Diabetes UK to train volunteers as Community Champions, who help raise awareness of the condition.

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Council officers also work closely with Brent Integrated Diabetes Service (BIDS) to educate and engage people from all backgrounds on diabetes prevention and care.

Cllr Krupesh Hirani, lead member for community wellbeing, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Football Association on World Diabetes Day to raise awareness of the condition and what better way to get people talking than to light up the famous arch blue.

“The increase in diabetes cases in Brent is mainly due to a rise in type 2 diabetes, and it’s important that we talk about the condition so people understand their own personal risk and if they are at risk to help them make lifestyle changes.”

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