Patient news

Bernard Wills wins rowing gold medal at 80

One of our patients who underwent radical prostatectomy nearly ten years ago has won a world gold medal for rowing – and at the age of 80!

Bernard Wills was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2001, but he had been an athlete and oarsman since the late 1940s and was determined to get back to reasonable fitness after his operation. He went on to succeed in rowing, winning at several regattas, and athletics, winning a team gold and individual silver in the British Veteran Cross-Country Championships.

In 2009 Bernard won in a double scull race at Barnes and Mortlake Regatta, and at the age of 80 he went to Vienna to compete at the World Masters Regatta. Invited to join a crew in an eight oared race, they missed a gold medal by one second! However, he then competed in the double scull race, collecting his first world gold medal.

Returning to the UK, Bernard joined a quadruple scull in an attempt to set a record for their age group (75-80 average) in the Lincoln to Boston marathon. They completed the 31 mile course in 4 hours 48 minutes.

It could be said that he has fully recovered from his prostate operation!

We are always keen to hear about Prostate Centre patients’ success stories after prostate treatment. Please send them to Sasha Bentham via post or email at

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