DETERMINED VIV’S ALL SET TO GET ON HIS BIKE AGAIN...
FORMER England star Viv Anderson will join the biggest ride in football in 2019, as Prostate Cancer UK’s £2m cycling event returns for a seventh year.
The ex-Nottingham Forest, Arsenal, Manchester United, Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley and Middlesbrough defender will saddle up for a fourth time in Prostate Cancer UK’s annual ‘Football to Amsterdam’ bike ride from 7-9 June.
Starting out as a charity challenge with just 35 riders in 2013, the ‘Football to Amsterdam’ bike ride smashed an incredible £2 million cumulative fundraising landmark in June 2018, with 400 riders tackling the 145-mile route.
This year, Anderson, 62, will begin his ride from Barnsley’s Oakwell stadium and finish at Ajax’s Johan Cruyff Arena.
Speaking to The FLP, Anderson, who has raised over £6,600 for the charity and cycled 435 miles over his three bike rides so far, said: “When I was first asked to do this, there was a pause for about an hour! Seriously, I hadn’t been on a bike for about 40 years and I was never any good at it then.
“But I did it with my brother-in-law first, and last year we had a team of around 16 people with former Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday manager Danny Wilson joining us. It’s a great event, and it’s such a great charity that does a wonderful job of spreading aware- ness so people know about this disease which, if caught early, can be treat- able.”
While one in eight men will be affected by pros- tate cancer in their lifetime, that risk heightens to one in four for black men and Anderson, who was the first black man to earn a full senior call-up for England 40 years ago, is keen to hammer home the message about the most common cancer in men – on and off the bike.
He said: “Despite my friends being of a similar age, ‘health’ is not a subject that tends to come up in conversation. I think we feel too embarrassed to talk about ourselves and so we avoid the subject altogether.
“But prostate cancer is something that all men need to be aware of – especially black men. I want to spend as much time as I can with my children and so my health is incredibly important to me. Being aware of your risk of prostate cancer and confronting it could save your life.”
As for his training techniques ahead of the big race, Viv has a fool-proof plan that is guaranteed to get him over the finishing line!
“Listen, when each ride is finished I stick the bike back in the shed,” he says. “But we’ll get Christmas out of the way and eat all the mince pies as we always do, and then it comes back out again in January! It gives me something to work towards and we hit the road twice a week as the training picks up. It’s the only way to do it!” Viv Anderson will be taking part in Prostate Cancer UK’s Football to Amsterdam bike ride for a fourth time on 7-9 June, 2019. Riders can receive £25 off the registration fee with the code Orange25 by signing up before Friday, November 30. Visit prostatecanceruk. org/amsterdam or email cy[email protected]canceruk. org or sponsor him at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/viv-anderson5.
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