29th Oct, 2016

Vale cyclist wins former footballer's support

Rob George 18th Jun, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

FORMER England and Crystal Palace footballer Geoff Thomas swapped Selhurst Park for The Valley to lend his support to an Evesham cyclist.

The charity fund-raiser dropped in at the former Evesham Country Park to meet Helen Russell as part of the One Day Ahead fund-raiser.

In 2003 Geoff was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia and was given less than three months to live.

But following treatment from Cure Leukaemia Co-founder Professor Charlie Craddock, Geoff has been in remission since January 2005.

The day was part of One Day Ahead fund-raising efforts which will see a team of 12 riders, led by Geoff, ride all the stages of the Tour Du France from July 3 to 25 – one day ahead of the professional peloton.

This equates to 3,344 kilometres over 21 stages including nine flat, three hilly and seven mountain stages as well as two time trial routes.

This amounts to on average more than 100 miles a day in the saddle for more than three weeks.

The team hope to raise in total £1 million through Le Tour – One Day Ahead to increase the Queen Elizabeth’s ability to deliver pioneering treatments for blood cancer patients at this international centre of excellence in Birmingham.

And as part of her fund-raising efforts, Helen was joined on her turbo trainer by local under 12 West Midland rider Aimee Lane and the Evesham Wheelers and £319 was raised on the day.

“The support we received from the visitors to The Valley was wonderful, Aimee and I are so grateful for all the donations,” Helen said.

“I am nervous about the Le Tour-One Day Ahead challenge in July due to the distance and mountainous terrain, but I will keep pedalling as I know that by doing so I will be helping to save lives,” she added.

Visit www.justgiving.com/HelenRussell-LeTour to donate online.