Town Supporters Riding For a Great Cause
Mike Donnell and Pete Nicholls are two of five Shrewsbury Town fans representing the club when they take on the Football to Amsterdam Bike Ride in June.
Football to Amsterdam is the biggest ride in football, and will take place from 9-11 June to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK.
Riders get to choose a starting point of either Yorkshire or London, before challenging themselves to 145 miles of cycling over two days.
Several big names in football get involved each year, with Les Ferdinand, Terry Butcher and Simon Grayson leading the way this time around.
Mike and Pete, along with family and friends will be heading to Amsterdam from the London start point, and Mike admits it was Pete who convinced him to take on the challenge.
“Three of the people I am doing it with did it last year from Yorkshire, and this time we wanted to try it from London,” he said.
“They convinced me to do it, I haven’t been on a bike in ten years, and my partners step dad Pete had been giving me stick about it as he’s around 60 odd, so I had to give it a go.”
Mike’s father in law to be Pete is one of those who took on the challenge last year, and couldn’t help getting involved again.
“Yes there was a little bit of pain that comes with it, but its such a good cause, and it helps you focus on your fitness,” he said.
“I mean, I’m 60 now, I’m no spring chicken! Doing this ride can help me stay fit and healthy, all whilst raising money for a great cause.
“People don’t realise how much of a threat prostate cancer is, so highlighting it is important.”
Lifelong Town fan Pete knows only too well how tough the ride is, and highlighted some of the obstacles that he and the rest of the riders have to endure.
“I remember last year we were riding in heat of 28 degrees, and there was one hill in particular where everyone was getting off their bikes.
“I just kept going, kept pushing myself and was pleased that I managed to make it over.
“I even remember Viv Anderson getting off!”
Last year he raised £1300 for Prostate Cancer UK, and is hoping to beat that mark the second time around.
“Last year the amount we raised was great, but this time I want to raise £1500.
“This year in total we can hopefully be hitting around the £5000 mark.”
In terms of training, however, Mike admits they are a little further behind, but believes it will be his fellow riders that gets them to the finish line.
“We’re starting a bit late really in terms of training, We had a good Christmas and first we had to get that out the way!
“For us it’s just about getting on the bikes and going for it, really.
“It’s very much going to be a team race rather than competitive, and just to finish will be a brilliant achievement.”