George Elokobi is an ambassador for the charity Diabetes UK, having seen the death of his father Martin due to complications with the condition when he was only 10 years old.
The 34 year old, who is now captain at Maidstone United, overcame the tragedy to become a professional footballer after leaving Cameroon for England at 16 eventually making his way to the Premier League with Wolves.
Figures have revealed that black, Asian and ethnic minority people are three times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than white people.
If left untreated, it can lead to sight loss, kidney failure or loss of a limb and it also increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
In Wolverhampton, 4,500 people from the BAME community are registered having diabetes, out of approx. 20,000 people with diabetes in the city.
Elokobi, who became a cult hero at Wolves, making 103 appearances from 2008 and 2014, has made a video on YouTube urging BAME people to get themselves checked out here.
He said: “Never has there been a more important time to look after our health and take steps to reduce our risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
"I would encourage people to take simple steps now, such as using the Diabetes UK online know your risk tool, to start their journey to a healthier version of themselves.”
Brett Healey, diabetes specialist nurse for The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, said: “We welcome any initiative that heightens the awareness of diabetes in the higher risk BAME population.
“We are aware there are still a number of people who have diabetes and the associated symptoms and risk but have yet to be diagnosed.
“It is important people are diagnosed as early as possible to ensure they are given the right advice and treatment to prevent the long and short-term complications of diabetes.”
Anyone at moderate or high risk of developing the condition may be eligible to join their local Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, a joint initiative from NHS England and Diabetes UK.