Burnley to Stamford Bridge via Belgium and France for prostate cancer appeal
Saddle sore but proud, 26 valiant cyclists have returned home after an epic bike ride to France and back to raise money for the Barry Kilby Prostate Cancer Appeal.
The amateur riders of all ages set off from Burnley Football Club to cycle to Hull where they boarded a ferry to Zeebrugge in Belgium before cycling to Dunkirk in France and then back to Blighty.
While in France, the group made an emotional detour to the Ramsceppelle Road Military Cemetery where many Burnley soldiers from the First World War are buried. While there, one of the riders, Chris Gibson, played the Last Post in a moving moment for all those assembled.
Expected to raise around £40,000 the ride was undertaken to support the appeal set up in 2014 by Burnley Football Club vice chairman Barry Kilby to support local testing of prostate cancer. Of the total 10% will be donated to the Burnley FC In the Community charity.
Julia Owen, fund-raiser for the appeal, said: "Everyone is so proud of the group who completed this marvellous bike ride. They were not all sping chickens by any means so it was a great achievement.
"There were some tough moments and I believe some of the cyclists reached the ferry back to England with just 12 minutes to spare after repairs were needed to their bikes.
"Barry and his wife Sonia met everyone later and were very moved by the effort and what they had achieved for the appeal."
The riders stopped at Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea FC, on their way back north, with some staying in London to watch Burnley's match there, while others continued to Burney and watched the game with Barry himself on television at Turf Moor.
Three of the riders, Darren Smith, Jason Mayor and Steve Wiggin, held a fund-raising auction and raffle at their local Crooked Billet pub in Worsthorne on Easter Sunday, which raised a further £3,000
Turf Moor will host another prostate cancer testing day, on June 1st, from 10am to 1pm.
Julia added: "The testing days, of which we have had several now, are literally saving lives. We estimate 10% of people tested have been referred for further medical tests. The appeal has been a fantastic success so far and we just want to keep it going."
To support the appeal visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/barrykilbyprostatecancerappealbikeride