RV doc and physio help sporting legends on epic bike ride

A DOCTOR and physiotherapist from the Ribble Valley helped England sporting giants Lawrence Dallaglio and Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff complete an epic bike ride and, raise more than £2m. for a host of charities, including Cancer Research.

Dr Simon Morris specialises in treating back and limb problems for NHS East Lancashire’s Musculoskeletal SK Service. He gave up four weeks of his time to provide medical support for rugby ace Dallaglio and cricket legend Flintoff and a total of 500 cyclists, including more than 20 sporting celebrities, who joined them for parts of the ride.

Dr Morris, who lives with his partner, Caroline in Grindleton, was also joined by Whalley physiotherapist Jane Connolly, Dr Mike Doherty, from Burnley and Dave Roberts, a former physio for England’s cricket team. They cycled 2,872km across Europe from the birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games – Olympia, in Greece – to the venue for this year’s Olympic Games – London.

Dr Morris, along with his team members, were there every step of the way, tending to a host of aches and pains from the cyclists. Dr Morris is no stranger to bike rides. Two years ago he accompanied Lawrence Dallaglio on a 3,000km bike ride from Rome to Edinburgh, but he admitted this time the cyclists had doubled in numbers.

He said: “During the four week journey I treated a huge variety of back and neck problems through to broken bones, as well as a heart problem on the very first day! The weather conditions were difficult out there – sometimes it was hot, sometimes cold, but we were always busy trying to treat 75-80 cyclists who attended the clinics with neck, back and hamstring injuries every day. Some days it was very exhausting, but then you have to remember that you are part of something that is not only challenging, but it’s a fantastic opportunity, an unforgettable experience and it’s all in aid of a good cause.”

Jane, who runs the Whalley Physiotherapy Clinic and is a keen cyclist, added: “The whole experience was very exciting and I was lucky to be asked to assist on a trip like this. It was a fantastic opportunity.

“Freddie and Lawrence were great and friendly and always grateful for the help they were receiving.”

The team of healthcare professionals was put together by physiotherapist Dave Roberts, who was mainly responsible for looking after Lawrence Dallaglio and Freddie Flintoff.

Dr Morris was a natural choice to aid Dallaglio and Flintoff’s team. As well as being the doctor for Lancashire County Cricket Team, he hails from a rugby playing family and played for Blackburn Rugby Club for 20 years, while his brother Andy played rugby for Sale and England under-21s.