Les Ferdinand signs up for cycling marathon with Prostate Cancer
PUBLISHED: 16:00 27 October 2016 | UPDATED: 13:06 31 October 2016
Les Ferdinand will join the biggest ride in football next year, as Prostate Cancer UK’s million-pound cycling event continues to gathers pace.
Ferdinand, whose career also took him to Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City and West Ham United, will join Preston North End manager Simon Grayson and ex-England skipper Terry Butcher in the fifth annual Football to Amsterdam ride – prostatecanceruk.org/amsterdam – in conjunction with the EFL from June 9 to 11.
The 49-year-old, now director of football at Loftus Road after a glittering playing career in W12, lost his grandfather to prostate cancer, while Grayson will ride in honour of his late friend Steve ‘Garby’ Garbett, who passed away from the disease in September 2014.
The duo will start at opposite ends of the country: Ferdinand pedalling to Amsterdam from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s Lee Valley VeloPark in east London, and Grayson joining the northern leg, which kicks off at Oakwell, home of Barnsley FC.
Starting out as a charity challenge with 35 riders in 2013, the Football to Amsterdam bike ride from Prostate Cancer UK and the EFL reached an incredible £1million cumulative fundraising landmark in June, as 350 riders rode 145 miles to try and stop prostate cancer being a killer.
Ferdinand said: “Football to Amsterdam has been an amazing success over the past four years and I’m really looking forward to saddling up for the first time to raise money for a charity close to my heart, Prostate Cancer UK.
“Prostate cancer affects 330,000 people in the UK, a staggering statistic. Think of a packed out Loftus Road and then imagine that almost 18 times over; those are the figures we are dealing with.
“One in eight men in the UK will be affected by this disease in their lifetime. But as a black man, my risk is even greater. One in four will be affected, and if there is a history of the disease in the family – like mine – those odds are even shorter.
“I’ll admit, prostate cancer wasn’t on my radar a decade ago; I knew nothing about it at all. Now I do. I lost my grandfather to prostate cancer and it’s also affected other members of my family too.
“I’ll be 50 in December, and need to set an example to my family and my peers, so I go and see my doctor every year without fail.”
For information about taking part in the 2017 ride go to prostatecanceruk.org/amsterdam contact the cycling team by calling 020 8222 7158 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.