Leyton Orient, Dagenham & Redbridge and West Ham United fans cycle around London to help promote Prostate Cancer UK’s Football to Amsterdam 2017 fundraiser

Leyton Orient's badge outside Brisbane Road (pic: Play With A Legend).

Leyton Orient's badge outside Brisbane Road (pic: Play With A Legend). - Credit: Archant

Walking Football sessions taking place at Score Centre in Oliver Road, Leyton for men and women over the age of 50

Last Friday (September 2) a group of football fans, including Leyton Orient, Dagenham & Redbridge and West Ham United supporters, cycled round London’s football elite to raise awareness for Prostate Cancer UK.

Setting off from Hammers new London Stadium in Stratford first thing, the peloton visited 12 capital-based clubs in the Premier League and EFL as well as National League Daggers to promote Prostate Cancer UK’s Football to Amsterdam 2017 – the charity’s end of season football fundraiser with the EFL.

Pedalling around London, the group put football rivalries aside and were greeted by Buzz Bee at Griffin Park, home of Brentford, stopped for a coffee at Fulham’s Craven Cottage while the small Spurs contingent on the ride went behind enemy lines by touching the hallowed turf of the Emirates Stadium, home of fierce rivals Arsenal.

Queens Park Rangers Director of Football, and former Hammers striker in 2003, Les Ferdinand, a man whose family has been affected by prostate cancer, was on hand to welcome the riders to Loftus Road while the squad went behind the scenes at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge.

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Also on the ride were visits to South London quartet Millwall, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace and AFC Wimbledon while Tottenham Hotspur also provided a popular stopping point. White Hart Lane was in fact the penultimate stop before an east to east loop was completed at Leyton Orient.

The ride was the first in a series of events to promote Football to Amsterdam, a hugely popular cycle challenge, which has raised more than £1 million since 2013. The ride has grown year on year with 2017 set to be the biggest yet. Registrations will soon be live and more information can be found at prostatecanceruk.org/amsterdam.

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Andy Sallnow, Head of Sport Events at Prostate Cancer UK, was on the ride, and said: “We’re grateful to all of the riders who joined us, and the clubs who engaged and supported Prostate Cancer UK along the way.

“It was quite a feat to circumnavigate the capital for around 100 miles and we’d like to say a special thanks to all of the clubs, who went above and beyond to support the ride. It was a great day with some great people.

“Ignoring prostate cancer won’t beat it, and by pedalling all of those miles and visiting all of those football clubs, the riders have decided to join the fight against prostate cancer and raise awareness for the disease that affects 1 in 8 men in the UK.

“We hope to see them again in our Football to Amsterdam ride from June 9-11 next year – and would welcome fans from across the capital, and beyond, to join the biggest ride in football.”

Many people are unaware that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It’s a huge issue that cannot be ignored. In 2016 one man an hour will die from prostate cancer in the UK. That’s 10,900 men this year. Based on current trends, if we ignore prostate cancer and do nothing, this number will rise to over 14,500 men a year by 2026.

People are urged to search Men United and join the fight. For information about taking part in the 2017 ride go to prostatecanceruk.org/amsterdam or contact the cycling team by calling 020 8222 7158 or emailing cycling@prostatecanceruk.org.

Men and women aged 50 and over are being encouraged to get healthy, keep fit and socialise with like-minded people at Orient’s Walking Football sessions.

There is no running allowed and the sport takes place at the Score Centre in Oliver Road – opposite the O’s West Stand.

Walking Football is non-contact, with no prior experience needed, you just turn up and play!

Sessions cost just £3 per session on Tuesdays from 6.30-7.30pm and Thursdays from 11am-12pm.

Over 65s, meanwhile, can play on Fridays from 11am-12pm. Call (020) 8556 5973, email phillip.smith@leytonorienttrust.org.uk or visit www.leytonorienttrust.org.uk/walkingfootball for details.

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