Sheffield United & Sheffield Wednesday fans invited to take part in former player's challenge

Ritchie Humphreys, the Sheffield United fan who played for Sheffield Wednesday, has invited followers of both clubs to join him on the ‘Big John’s Promotion Bike Tour’ which aims to raise money for St Luke’s Hospice.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The challenge, named after his late father, will see Humphreys and three friends cycle from Bramall Lane to all of the grounds where his dad, who was also a Blades supporter, witnessed them win promotion. The 500 mile round trip, which involved 23,000 feet of climbs, begins on June 23rd and involves visits to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leicester City, Darlington and, for personal reasons, stop-offs at the charity itself and also Hartlepool; where Humphreys spent more than a decade of his career.

“We’re not expecting people to come on all of it with us, or even the toughest parts,” Humphreys told The Star, revealing United manager Paul Heckingbottom and coaches Jack Lester and Matt Duke have pledged to try and cover some of the route. “But if they want to come along for bits of it, they’re more than welcome. I just think it’s a really good cause and they were brilliant with dad, when he was there, and our family. I can’t put into words how great everyone there was and so we just wanted to try and give something back.”

Ritchie Humphreys with his late father JohnRitchie Humphreys with his late father John
Ritchie Humphreys with his late father John
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Humphreys' late father passed away last year due to an asbestos related condition and spent the end of his life being cared for in St Luke’s.

“I know the people there are all medically trained but, on a personal level, they are just amazing as well,” he said. “Even just the little things like, when one of the nurses came in to ask if mum wanted a cup of tea making, commenting on how she looked in what she was wearing or wondering if she’d had her nails done because they were really nice. It’s that human touch which made all the difference for us.”

Humphreys and his pals aim to complete the route, which finishes at Bramall Lane, on June 27th.

“We’re doing it to raise funds and also awareness,” he added. “My sister’s joked with me that I probably owe St Luke’s £1000 anyway for all the coffee I drank there.”