Northants Cricketers James Middlebrook and Lee Daggett joined a host of past and present cricketers who are on course to surpass their fund-raising target for two of the game’s best-known charities after a mammoth cycle trek.
Organisers of the Big Bike Ride are currently £10,000 short of collecting £200,000 for the Tom Maynard Trust and PCA Benevolent Fund after cycling from Durham to Lord’s.
To continue to donate to Lee and James' charity page please visit here: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/midders07anddags#
Yet following overwhelming support from friends, family, sponsors, and members of the public – and with monies still outstanding – they are confident of surpassing the six figure sum.
The ride, which began on Friday 18th October, saw a host of cricketers, administrators and fans of the game ride over some of the most testing terrain in England.
Among the current and former cricketers who took part were England hero Andrew Flintoff, international ODI & t20 star Jos Buttler, Somerset’s Marcus Trescothick, former England bowler Alan Mullally, ex-New Zealand international Hamish Marshall, Essex’s Graham Napier, Surrey’s Gareth Batty, Middlesex’s James Harris, and Durham’s Phil Mustard.
They were joined by a host of fellow county professionals and cricket administrators, including CEO and Chairman of Surrey CCC & Somerset CCC, Richard Gould, Richard Thompson, Guy Lavender and Andy Nash, as well as Tom’s father, former Glamorgan and England batsman, Matt Maynard.
Along the way riders stopped off at a number of England’s leading cricket grounds, including the County Ground, Emirates Old Trafford, Trent Bridge and Lord’s.
They arrived at the Home of Cricket to a hero’s welcome on Tuesday 22nd October shortly after covering the 441 miles in five days, and capped off proceedings yesterday by attending the PCA’s Ashes Farewell Lunch for Alastair Cook’s England team.
An auction at the lunch raised an extra £40,000 for both causes to go with the £150,000 that was gathered in before and during the ride.
Both the PCA Benevolent Fund and Tom Maynard Trust are grateful to everyone who pledged money on their BT Donate page http://thepca.co.uk/confirmed-riders.html or by buying a lot at the auction. Donations will be accepted until 23rd November 2013.
The Big Bike Ride was generously supported by the headline sponsors Brewin Dolphin, as well as Trek Bicycle Coventry and Cotswold Cycles.
Additional support was also offered by Jaguar, who donated 3 XF Sportsbrakes with roof racks, to provide transport for the mechanics and support staff on the route each day.
PCA Assistant Chief Executive, Jason Ratcliffe, who sits as a trustee of the Benevolent Fund and the TMT, said: “It was a herculean effort by all those concerned and both charities are indebted to each and every cyclist who put themselves through the mill.
“We are also very appreciative of our generous sponsors who offered tremendous financial support, those that fed, watered, and put us up, as well as those that patched up both our bikes and us when we needed help.”
Matt Maynard said: “It was a very emotional five days for all of this involved and we owe a huge debt of gratitute to everyone who contributed, not just those who went through the pain barrier but everyone who made it happen.”
Speaking on behalf of the players taking part, Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick said: “It was fantastic that so many players from across the country came together to support the two charities. It was their opportunity to give something back and support their fellow professionals who are less fortunate themselves.”
Peter Land, divisional director of sponsor, Brewin Dolphin, who took part in the challenge said, “The days out on the road were long and tough - but also satisfying and fun as we got to see so much of our beautiful countryside and got to know our fellow riders.
“Overall, it was a huge pleasure to be involved in The Big Bike Ride and to help support two really worthwhile charities that benefit sportsmen and women past, present and future.”
Tom Maynard Trust was set up in 2012 following the tragic loss of Surrey star Tom. It aims to help the development of aspiring, disadvantaged cricketers and other sportspeople requiring support in their careers.
The Benevolent Fund was founded by the PCA to help current and former players and their dependants in times of hardship, upheaval, or to readjust to the world beyond the professional game.