SIMON FUNDRAISES FOR CANCER CHARITY CAUSE
SIMON GRAYSON is a man used to doling out lectures. As a manager the 45-year-old has given plenty of inspirational speeches.
But not today.Today, the former Leicester defender has swapped his trackies for a lab coat, the bibs and balls of the training ground for the slides and syringes of a cutting-edge university laboratory.
And like everyone huddled into a meeting room at York University’s Wentworth College, he listens rapt as Professor Norman Maitland explains his pioneering research in prostate cancer.
The facts are startling. According to recent statistics, 40 per cent of men over the age of 50 have an enlarged prostate. The vast majority are harmless. Many are not. In the UK, the disease still kills one man every hour. Grayson knows that better than anyone. His best mate Stephen Garbett died in September 2014, prompting the Preston boss to join 250 others in a charity
cycle ride from Leyton Orient’s Brisbane Road to Ajax’s Amsterdam Arena. His team raised £42,000 and this visit to York is to see where that cash is being spent.
“It’s great to see first-hand what these fantastic people are doing to try and find a cure for this horrible disease,” said Grayson, who will ride to Amsterdam once again in June.
“I said it on the night of the ride that I took as much satisfaction from getting that medal at the Amsterdam Arena as I did from winning the play-offs at Wembley three weeks earlier.
“I hadn’t been on a bike in years before training, so to ride 150 miles in two days and raise over £40,000 gave me great satisfaction. Seeing where it’s going makes it even more worthwhile. I can’t wait to go again and, this time, I hope we can hit £500,000.” Prostate Cancer UK, the Official Charity Partner of The Football League, will stage the Football to Amsterdam cycle challenge from June 3-5, 2016 with riders now able to roll out from London and a new start point in Yorkshire, Oakwell, home of Barnsley FC. Early-bird prices for Football to Amsterdam 2016 are just £99 and for more information about the ride, visit prostatecanceruk. org/amsterdam or contact the cycling team by calling 020 8222 7158 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DIFFERENT ROLES: Grayson is interviewed, left, and then listens intently at York University