Leyton Orient teamed up with their Football League counterparts to raise more than £305,000 last weekend on Prostate Cancer UK’s sold-out football fundraiser – the London to Amsterdam Cycling Challenge.
More than 250 riders – including former international trio Terry Butcher, Matt Holland and Luther Blissett together with Preston North End boss Simon Grayson – cycled 145 miles from the Matchroom stadium, Leyton Orient FC to the Amsterdam Arena across two days and the total raised continues to rise.
Representing the O’s were Tom Preedy, Joe Bullock and Keith Alderson who saddled up for the third annual ride, and the Leyton Orient total adds to the significant contribution the club has made this season from the ride, the match day collection as well as the Orient Legends XI v Men United XI game.
The money raised will go towards supporting the 300,000 men living with prostate cancer in the UK, and funding ground breaking research to beat a disease which currently affects one in eight men in the UK.
Director of Fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, Mark Bishop said: “To see Leyton Orient and our ever-extending football family come together over two never-to-be-forgotten days and raise a phenomenal total is another example of the power of Men United.
“It’s amazing to think that back in 2013 Luther was one of 35 hardy souls taking on the challenge for the first time, so its fair to say its really caught the imagination – and raised a substantial amount of money.
“This year‘s ride was bigger and better than ever. 250 riders representing clubs up and down the land convened for brilliant demonstration of what we call Men United: people joining one team to fight a common opposition – prostate cancer.
Joe Bullock riding as part of the Leyton Orient team said, “The ride went really well, there was a great group of riders and everyone was really keen. I was surprised at the turnout of 250 riders, it was a huge group and was impressive to see them all leaving Leyton Orient.”
“The first day started quite smoothly as we headed out into Essex but later turned into a bit of a slog, with some steep hills and headwinds against us. The second day, the legs were a bit tired but everyone was keen to get to the finish. In Amsterdam everyone got together at the finish line and had photos and champagne to celebrate followed by a grand dinner at the hotel.”
Joe continued, “The support staff were excellent and ran everything very smoothly, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would definitely do it again, especially that it for such a good cause. We’re still trying to raise the last bit of money to reach our target, our just giving link is www.justgiving.com/BikeShackLeyton if anyone else wants to get involved.”
You can also donate to fellow Orient participant Keith Alderson on his Just Giving page here.
Fans who missed out on this year’s ride can find out more about the biggest ride in football at prostatecanceruk.org/amsterdam.