A team of Newcastle United fans are saddling up for an epic challenge to raise money for a local teenager.
Bryan Denley, who runs North Shields-based Orchard Painters and Decorators, and seven fellow supporters will link up with six Liverpool fans to ride the 186 miles from Newcastle to Anfield ahead of United’s game on April 13.
We wanted to do something different to raise money to help make James’s life easier.Bryan Denley
The cyclists are being backed by John Harvey, chief executive of the Gateshead-based Protector group, who will provide the transport back to Tyneside.
The journey is scheduled to take three days and will raise funds for North Shields James Smith, 18, who has duchenne muscular dystrophy and is confined to a wheelchair.
Bryan, 53, from Billy Mill, North Shields, said: “We wanted to do something different to raise money to help make James’s life easier. He is a computer whizz-kid and has set up a programme to help other computer users to navigate games.
“Funds raised should help with household adaptations and computer equipment for James.
“We do have plans to lay a wreath at Anfield to commemorate the Hillsborough tragedy when 96 Liverpool fans died. The 26th anniversary is two days after the game.”
To sponsor the fundraisers go to James Smith’s page at Fundrazr.com
The seven Geordie cyclists preparing to saddle up for the ride to Liverpool are Bryan Denley, Kevin Teague, Brian Partridge, Steve Barber, Peter McDonald, Lee Richardson, Kevin Denley and Paddy MacMillan.
Bryan arranged for the Liverpool fans to join in through his friendship with one of them, Nathan Roberts, whom he met when following the England cricket team overseas.
The other Liverpudlians taking part are Craig Canning, Michael Gleave, Wayne and Paul Humphreys and Gary Hupham.