A FORMER England footballer has shared messages of support to those taking on a 180-mile bike ride including three from Solihull in aid of Molly Olly’s.
Gurmukh Hayre and Adrian Baker from Knowle and Gerard O’Gorman from Solihull will be heading to York – where Molly enjoyed one of her last holidays with her family – on Friday, July 9.
The trio, alongside 49 others will then head through The Pennines and Derbyshire before arriving at The Durham Ox in Shrewley three days later.
Gurmukh, who has been a trustee for the Molly Olly’s for five years, said: “To have an organised ride, which is not a road race but an event, offers a lot of camaraderie and friendship.
“We all stick together so when someone has a problem or gets a puncture we all rally round to help. The spirit is fantastic.
“Unless you are an incredibly fit cyclist you relish the challenge of something like this, for most people the challenge is tackling the hills after you’ve already clocked up a lot of miles.
“It becomes a more of a mental challenge but you remember why you’re doing it and use that as your mental purpose which keeps you going.
“We always hope for dry weather but once you’re out, you’re out and you just deal with whatever comes your way.
“You just stick your waterproof in your back pocket.”
Foster, himself an avid cyclist, produces a YouTube channel called The Cycling GK – and has put his weight behind the epic challenge via a special video message.
A previous supporter of the charity, he said: “I wish all of the cyclists taking part the very best of luck; 185 miles is tough but I know they will remember what Molly and all the other children have been through so they will complete the challenge and I hope they raise lots of money for Molly Olly’s.”
Molly Olly’s Wishes was established in 2011 following the death of Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw’s eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer.
The Warwick-based charity, which this year marks its 10th anniversary, works to support children with terminal or life-threatening illnesses and their families.
Mascot of the charity is a therapeutic toy lion called Olly The Brave who has his own Hickman line and a detachable mane which helps to explain and normalise the effects of chemotherapy.
Part of more than £3m raised to date, has also been used to fund the first Molly Olly consultant in paediatric medicine at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.