Blues fan takes part in challenge for Prostate Cancer UK
The second London to Amsterdam cycle challenge has been hailed a huge success with Pompey putting Prostate Cancer UK on course to raise £150,000.
Last weekend’s event saw more than 150 hardy souls representing clubs from The Football League pedal from Leyton Orient’s Matchroom Stadium to the Amsterdam ArenA, home of Dutch giants Ajax.
That total was more than five times the number that took on the inaugural challenge 12 months earlier, and plans are already in place for a bigger and better event in 2015.
Prostate Cancer UK are the official long term charity partner of The Football League and representatives from more than 50 clubs – including Port Vale Manager Micky Adams, former Republic of Ireland international striker Alan Lee and ex-Arsenal star Perry Groves – joined the peloton in East London in the early hours of Friday morning.
Former England international Luther Blissett was also in a field that included several former players, while Tom Dearie took on the challenge for Pompey.
Spirits were high as the event headed from East London into the Essex countryside, breaking for lunch in Great Totham before another mid-afternoon pit-stop at Colchester’s Weston Homes Community Stadium.
The riders then headed for Harwich to complete their opening 90-mile instalment before travelling overnight by boat to the Netherlands.
The final 60 miles took the intrepid squad through the cycle paths and into the heart of Amsterdam with the riders convening for a celebratory group shot outside the Amsterdam ArenA.
Dearie said: “It was an amazing few days spent among some really great people – and it was great to see the football family getting together for such a great cause.
“I’m grateful to all the people that got behind me and there is still time to mark my achievements by sponsoring me at www.justgiving.com/tom-dearie1/
“I’m already looking forward to next year’s event and will be aiming to get even more people from Pompey involved.”
Blissett added: “It was wonderful to be part of the London to Amsterdam ride again and truly incredible to see how much it has grown in just a year with more than five times as many people joining me this time round.
“Just as the charity continues to grow as the Men United v Prostate Cancer campaign gathers momentum it was inspiring to see so many faces at the startline in East London, and there was a feel-good factor across the whole weekend.
“I’ve definitely got the bug and it will be great to saddle up again next year to continue to help raise awareness of the disease.”
Director of fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, Mark Bishop, said: “Having so many clubs bring backroom staff, former players, managers and fans together has been a brilliant demonstration of what we call Men United: people joining the same team to fight a common opposition – prostate cancer.
“Money raised will directly towards fighting this deadly disease and help us stop it one day killing one man every hour.”
Click here to register an interest for next year’s London to Amsterdam cycling challenge, which takes place between June 12-14.
Meanwhile, click here to register for Prostate Cancer UK’s regular football newsletter packed full of all the latest Men United news and features by the finest football writers on the web.
If you have concerns about prostate cancer please call Prostate Cancer UK's confidential helpline on 0800 074 8383 or visit www.prostatecanceruk.org
The helpline is free to landlines, staffed by specialist nurses, and open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, with late opening until 8pm on Wednesdays.