A former Charlton Athletic striker has raised £75,000 while participating in a charity bike ride, writes Berk Uyal.
The ride took place from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to the Johan Cruyff Arena, the home of Champions League semi-finalists, Ajax, in Amsterdam on June 7-9.
Gary Nelson joined Tracey Leaburn, player liaison officer for Charlton Athletic, to raise money for charity Prostate Cancer UK.
The 58-year-old, who supported his friend who had been diagnosed with the illness, said: “The spirit of all of the riders supporting each other has been brilliant because it has been quite soul destroying at times when you are riding into a force eight or gale.
“When Tracey contacted me about this ride it felt like the absolute right thing to do.”
The aim of the charity is to fund research to stop prostate cancer, which more than 11,500 men die from each year.
Ms Leaburn, whose father died from the illness, said: “I felt that awareness and raising money to fight this disease is something that needs to be brought to the forefront, because so many people don’t know about it.
“It is just shocking because it affects so many people, but because men don’t talk about it people don’t really realise just how massive a problem it is, which is why we are trying to raise awareness of it.”
It’s the most common cancer in men, with more than 400,000 living with and after the disease.
Former Charlton Athletic defender Patrick Bauer had donated a first team shirt after selling it for more than £1,300.
Ex-England defender Paul Parker, who was also among the riders, said: “Prostate cancer affects one in eight men in the UK and that stat worsens to one in four if you are a black man, which really brought things home.
“Thinking about the amount of football I’ve watched this year and equating that to one man dying every 45 minutes, that’s shocking. And that’s why I signed up for this great cause.”
The ride had raised £2 million in June 2018, and this year more than 350 riders will take part in the two-day ride.
For more information about taking part in the 2020 ride, go to prostatecanceruk.org/amsterdam contact the cycling team by calling 020 3310 7034 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To sponsor Paul, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paul-parker-f2a
Anyone with concerns about prostate cancer may contact Prostate Cancer UK’s Specialist Nurses in confidence on 0800 074 8383.