Simon’s pedal-powered pilgrimage in aid of cancer charity
A KEEN cyclist from Skelmersdale is tackling a 145-mile pedal-power ‘pilgrimage’ to the Dutch capital, Amsterdam to raise funds to help the fight against prostate cancer.
This is the second time that 46-year-old Simon Heartfield has taken part in the event, which is backed by the English Football League and the League Managers Association, having also saddled up last year.
The fundraiser will take place over the weekend of Friday to Sunday, June 1 to 3 two weeks before the 2018 World Cup in Russia is set to kick off.
A total of 400 football fans will cycle over two days and finish at Ajax’s Amsterdam Arena.
They will take part in two routes, one from Barnsley to Amsterdam and the other from London to Amsterdam.
Simon, who will be taking the route from Barnsley, said: “We will be departing from Barnsley Football Club on Friday, June 1 and riding the 74 miles to Hull where we will take the ferry to Rotterdam.
“After that we will ride the 74 miles to Amsterdam.”
Simon signed up for the fundraiser as he lost his father-in-law to prostate cancer.
He said: “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Every hour in the UK a man dies from the disease, that’s more than 10,800 men every year.
“Also, one in eight men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime.
“Last year's event was an amazing experience and it was a big challenge.
“I’m looking forward to taking part in it again this year.
“Last year famous former footballers Les Ferdinand, Alan Smith and Viv Anderson were among those involved.
“I can honestly say it was one of the best cycling experiences I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a few.
“For 2018 I am producing another jersey and looking for corporate sponsors.”
Simon is being joined on the ride this year by Daryl Gibbs, who owns Trimmers in Skelmersdale’s Concourse shopping centre.
Simon managed to raise more than £2,500 last year, while the event collectively raised more than £600,000, which all went directly to Prostate Cancer UK.
To date this year Simon has raised £2,000, while 52-year-old Daryl has more raised more than £1,000.
Simon added: “Daryl is looking forward to taking part this year and has been doing 50 mile training rides.”
Anyone wishing to sponsor Simon can contact him on 07917 878941. He also has a Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/simon-heartfield1