Sheffield United fans’ epic ride for cancer cause

Some of the Tour de Blades team in Amsterdam as part  of their cycle ride.
Some of the Tour de Blades team in Amsterdam as part of their cycle ride.
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Representatives and fans of Sheffield United Football Club got on their bikes to raise thousands of pounds for a cancer charity after completing an epic cycle ride from Sheffield to Amsterdam.

The sponsored bike ride by a ‘Tour de Blades’ team, part of a wider fundraising effort known as ‘Football to Amsterdam’ which comprises mostly of football fans, started at United’s Bramall Lane home ground and went via Barnsley Football Club’s Oakwell stadium and onto Hull, before crossing the North Sea on a ferry to Rotterdam.

After disembarking from the ferry they then continued the ride from the Dutch coast to the capital, before finishing outside the Amsterdam Arena, the home of football giants Ajax.

The team of 11, captained by Peter Crossland, covered a total of 175 miles in around two days.

They have so far raised more than £17,000 for the national charity Prostate Cancer UK.

Mr Crossland said: “This was an absolutely brilliant way to raise money for a fantastic charity.

“Each year we have raised the bar, but this year we totally smashed it. The Tour de Blades are so proud.

“The awareness which fundraising efforts such as this raise is almost as important as the funds themselves - and we’re proud to say we’ve already raised more than £17,000 so far.”

The ride this year builds on Tour de Blades’ fundraising efforts for Prostate Cancer UK over the past three years, which has seen the team raise more than £33,000.

Dave McCarthy, Sheffield United’s operations director, said sponsorship money was still being collected and urged fans to show their support and donate online.

He added: “We’re all immensely proud of what the guys did and of the impact this will have.

“Any funds raised for charity are worthwhile but Prostate Cancer UK is a particularly outstanding cause.

“We’re hoping to hit our £20,000 target and I’d urge people to get online and donate via the team’s justgiving page.

“This is another example of Sheffield United showing that we are a community-orientated Club, and one which is committed to supporting good causes.”

To donate to the team’s page visit https://www.justgiving.com/teams/tourdeblades2016

To get involved with the Football to Amsterdam charity cycle rides email cycling@prostatecanceruk.org or ring 020 3310 7034.