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Tour4Parky Rolls Into Deepdale

4 July 2013

The Tour4Parky cycling squad rolled up at Deepdale’s doorstep at around 11.45am this morning, as they completed the first leg of the Gary Parkinson Trust's bike ride.

The event is being held in support of the former PNE defender, who suffers from locked-in syndrome meaning his only form of communication is through eye movements.

And as the participants arrived at the famous stadium, PNE.Com was there to collect their initial thoughts on the cycle so far.

Stephen Bennett, of Thornaby-on-Tees, is Gary’s brother-in-law and he admitted the journey was tough to begin with. 

“It was a bit hard at the start, it was a bit windy but once we got round Lytham area the wind turned and we had it behind us and it’s been a decent run down here,” he said.

Meanwhile, the 49-year-old claimed it is easy to get involved and donate, with so many avenues available to potential sponsors.

“There’s various ways, there’s obviously the website, or if you know someone who’s actually doing the ride they’ve got sponsor forms,” he added.

Preston-lad Adam Marsh is part of the team’s support unit and was quick to praise both Luke and Chloe Parkinson – children of Gary, and organisers of a number of fundraising events for their dad.

“I’ve seen how brilliant Chloe and Luke have been and everything they’ve organised,” he said.

“I’ve played football matches, so anything along those lines that can raise money has all been brilliant.”

Stephen Bate, a 20-year-old Bolton fan and friend of the family, explained just how much physical work was involved in preparation for the cycle, but believes it’s all worth it, for the sake of such an excellent charity.  

“I’ve done quite a bit of training, been going out for rides, three of us, going 20 miles or so,” he said.

“It’s a fantastic cause, I wouldn’t do it for anything else.”

31-year-old Liam Butterworth is a fan of Championship Club Middlesbrough, another of Gary’s former stomping grounds, and reiterated the trust’s belief that any amount of money is worth donating.

“Just give what you can, he’s coming on well so please just donate all that you possibly can,” he emphasised.

PNE’s brand new caterers, The Villa, generously provided refreshments - free of charge - for everyone taking part in the charity event, something they were all grateful for.

“Spot on,” was Liam’s verdict. 

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