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Gaffer Ready To Saddle Up

25 May 2017

Manager Simon Grayson is going through his final preparations ahead of his charity bike ride to Amsterdam.

The gaffer will be taking on the challenge for the second time in aid of Prostate Cancer UK alongside hundreds of others to help raise awareness and funds for the charity. 

You can show your support for the gaffer ahead of the ride by donating whatever you can here: www.justgiving.co.uk/fundraising/SimonGraysonAmsterdam2017.

Setting off from Barnsley FC's Oaskwell stadium on 9th June, those on the northern leg of the journey will ride through the scenic Yorkshire countryside to Hull where they will get the overnight ferry to Rotterdam. 

Once in Rotterdam, the team will continue along the picturesque pathways of the Netherlands before the two Men United pelotons converge at the iconic Amsterdam ArenA, home of Dutch giants Ajax. 

The PNE boss first took on the challenge in 2015, and since then has continued to raise thousands of pounds for Prostate Cancer UK in memory of his late friend Steve 'Garby' Garbett, who sadly passed away from the disease in September 2014. 

On his reasons for taking on the challenge once again, and his continuing fundraising, the gaffer said: “I am delighted to support Prostate Cancer UK, a charity which is very close to my heart, and I’m looking forward to joining the ride for a second time in honour of my late friend Steve Garbett.

“Garby was a really close pal, who followed my career as a player and latterly as a manager and was always there to offer me support and advice.  He was there for the good and the bad before sadly passing away two years ago.

“His brave ten-year fight opened my eyes about the dangers of this disease, and I’m proud to wear my Prostate Cancer UK ‘Man of Men’ pin badge on the touchline every game to raise awareness. That man represents you, me and everyone affected by this disease." 

The football season may have ended but that doesn't mean the training has stopped for the North End boss who has been working hard ahead of the ride. 

"I've been doing a lot of training over the last few weeks, I've been doing 30 or 40 miles a day at times, I will be glad when it's finished but I've been looking forward to it again. 

"I will be trying to get back out on my bike before the ride and we will see what happens, but I've done quite a bit of work and so hopefully it's enough to get me through!

"Regardless of how much training I do, I'm always going to have a bad back, neck and legs given the level of it we are doing. 

"I've had a ten day break away which has come in the midst of a bit of training but I'm looking forward to it, it's going to be a challenge but one that is a worthwhile challenge we are doing for a second time so we we are looking forward to it and probably more looking forward to that finish line in Amsterdam!" 

The ride has grown year on year and there will be double the amount of riders in the gaffer's team this time around. 

"Last time there was about ten of us, this time it's nearer 25 which is great and it's good  that they've all raised the money that's required to get you on the trip. So 'Team Garby' will be out in force this year and I'm sure people will recognise the dodgy shirts that somebody has designed for us to wear.

"It will be a bit different this time, last time we went from London, this time we are going from Barnsley to Hull so we will sample some of the beautiful Yorkshire countryside which we are all looking forward to!

"It's about two and a bit years now since we started it all and we keep raising awareness and funds for the charity. We had the community day at Deepdale, I've had a golf day and a gala ball and other various events that are going a long way to raising money but the biggest thing is raising awareness. 

"If it helps save lives one way or another then it helps with what we are trying to achieve. 

"Any help is hugely appreciated, I've had people who have donated four figure sums but even a few pound here and there contributes right the way through and it all adds up. Whatever anyone can help with along the way is very much appreciated." 

You can donate to the gaffer's charity efforts now by visitingwww.justgiving.co.uk/fundraising/SimonGraysonAmsterdam2017

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