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Simon Grayson Reflects On London To Amsterdam Challenge

22 June 2015

Manager Simon Grayson took on the London to Amsterdam bike ride in aid of Prostate Cancer and has already raise an unbelievable amount for the charity.

After leading Preston North End to promotion, the gaffer took on the two day challenge on 12th June and embraced the spirit and togetherness of the event, much like he and his team had done throughout their successful campaign last year. 

“The spirit of everybody kept you going, I met a lot of people that I didn't know and that was the whole thing really. 

“We were one big team that, as the slogan says, 'Men United' in trying to accomplish what we all did and raise awareness and donations for Prostate Cancer. 

“There were some dark moments, thinking things like how am I going to get to the top of this hill, some nice moments, funny moments. Like lads falling off their bikes, I was fine luckily! 

“But yes there was some dark moments. First finding out that we were going to Colchester, thinking I never want to go back to that place again, and then actually driving in there. A lot of thoughts going on in my head while I was there, the picture that went out on the internet epitomised my feelings in terms of the bike ride and actually the events of the few weeks prior to that. 

“There were a couple of scary moments when you can't get your feet out of your pedals, and you're thinking if I fall off here, somebody else is because we were all so close together at different stages.” The PNE boss continued. 

“One of the best part was one of our lads got all the way round, driving into the car park at the hotel after doing the whole ride and lost his balance and fell off in the last 200 yards! That went down well!”

"It was a fantastic thing to do and look back on now that I've done it." 

"It was superbly organised, obviously as you would imagine, signs up even though once or twice people didn't follow them right." 

"I remember once or twice I was struggling with tiredness and my knee was hurting a little bit. I was at the back of our group of 30 of us and the front group missed the sign off so psychologically I went from the back to leading the pack! And I thought 'happy days!'. I got a brand new lease of life it was brilliant."

“When you saw the end of it it was just a massive relief and there was a sense of achievement and pride about it all.”

After having to increase his donation target on a number of occasions due to the generosity of family, friends and football fans alike, the gaffer is grateful for everyone’s contribution, no matter how small. 

“I’m getting up to just short of £30,000 as my team of three or four, then the whole team of us that were together, so the 12 of us, we've already hit the £40,000 mark. 

“At the dinner on the Saturday night, as a whole team of riders on the event we had got over the £310,000 which is unbelievable.”

“Even this week I've been sending texts out to ex players and people like that telling that what other players had donated and now they are trying to beat each other! 

“I’m just bullying ex players that I worked with to contribute as well.”

“I would like to thank so many people who have donated, whether it's large amounts, small amounts, companies, individuals, the support has been fantastic so a massive thanks to everybody who's been connected with it. Like the spinors of the shirt i wore for the right, to the large amounts right through to every football fan that has donated even a small amount. 

“It makes you realise how generous people are when it comes to things like this.”

When asked whether it’s something he would consider next year, Grayson admitted it was too early to say but would definitely consider taking on another challenge for charity. 

“It's something I would probably look to do again. We all discussed when we finished whether we would do it again and there was a mixed response. It probably wasn't the right time to commit to things like that! 

“You met so many different people, there's so many laughs and jokes and things that happen on the way that create so many memories. 

“The one big thing as well I suppose was that when we got it finished and we were coming out yesterday it felt like we had been away a week and it had only been three days. It was the longest few days of a lot of our lives, but hugely satisfying. But I can certainly think of better ways to spend a long weekend away in Amsterdam! 

“We might do something different next year, I don't know, it's too early to say yet. I will get back on my bike though in the next few weeks because I've enjoyed it and it's got me fit so I'm not going to give up on it now. 

“We might do something differently because we've done this one already.”

There is still time to donate to Simon’s charity efforts and you can do so by going to www.justgiving.co.uk/Simon-Grayson2015



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