Ben Foster getting on the bike for fitness and fundraising mission!

26th May 2015


Ben Foster is pedaling his way back to fitness from a serious knee injury – while helping Geoff Thomas raise £1million for Cure Leukaemia.

But the England and West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper’s involvement in Geoff’s ‘London 2 Paris: Inspiring the Revolution’  cycle challenge could leave the former Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder red-faced.
 
Leukaemia survivor Geoff, a former Wolves player between 1993-1997, has vowed to wear the shirt of Wolves’ arch Black Country rivals Albion for a day on the June 18-22 ride IF Ben meets his £50,000 fundraising challenge. Ben, who is calling on Baggies fans to help him hit the five-figure target, will be among 230 amateur cyclists on the 500km route, which is providing the 32-year-old with a unique way to step up his rehab.


WATCH: Ben Foster talks about his challenge ahead


 


The former Manchester United gloves-man is on the long road back to fitness after suffering cruciate ligament damage in the Baggies’ 1-0 win against Stoke two months ago. He is aiming to return to action in October – and says joining Geoff on his 80-mile-a-day ride will boost his chances of meeting his comeback target.

Ben said:

 

“Cycling L2P is fantastic for my rehab. Biking is basically my bread and butter at the moment. I do it every day in the gym.

I’ve done my cruciate twice before, so I’m no stranger to sitting on a bike in the gym. It does get a bit boring now and then so actually going out on my bike keeps me going. It gives you a sense of freedom and is a good way to de-stress. I love it.
 
I got the cycling bug about two years ago. You can see me out on a random night, cycling around Stratford in the full gear – lycra, everything! But I’ve never done anything like this before. I have done a couple of 80kms, and maybe a 100km, but never 80 miles a day on four successive days.

“Most of the other players have been asking me: what are you thinking?! You probably need to like your cycling to understand. When you couple it with the fact it’s for a super, worthwhile charity, it was a no-brainer for me to get involved.
 
“I’m still aiming to be back playing in October. It’s been nine weeks since my operation and everything has gone really well. I don’t feel any pain in my knee and the muscles around it are getting really strong. Training for L2P is making me push it that bit more.”

When asked whether he will meet Geoff’s fundraising challenge, Ben’s response is short and simple: “Geoff will be a Baggies fan for the day, guaranteed!”
 
He added: “I’ll be rallying as much support as possible to make it happen. I’ll be asking the other players to make a donation but I also need the fans’ help.
 
“We’ve averaged over 25,000 at home games this season. If each of those supporters donates a couple of pounds, Geoff will be wearing that Baggies shirt!”


To sponsor Ben, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/BenFosterL2P/ 


Ben is full of admiration for Geoff’s decade-long fundraising efforts.
 
On July 4, 2003 – a year after the curtain closed on his 20-year professional career – Geoff was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia, a form of blood cancer, and given just three months to live. Following treatment from Cure Leukaemia Co-Founder Professor Charlie Craddock, including a stem cell transplant from sister Kay, Geoff has been in remission since January 2005.
 
Geoff, 50, is celebrating his tenth anniversary of being in remission by holding two major cycling events this summer.
 
The footballing community, in particular Geoff and former Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov, has a strong connection with Cure Leukaemia, which funds a network of specialist research nurses to administer clinical trials of potentially lifesaving drugs to leukaemia patients who have exhausted all options on the NHS. 

“Geoff’s an absolute hero,” said Ben, who will be joined on L2P by his former Watford boss and current England Under-20s coach, Aidy Boothroyd, ex-Birmingham City defender Darren Purse and Geoff’s former Crystal Palace team-mate John Salako.
 
“What he does, and the lengths he goes to in fundraising, is fantastic.

“Cure Leukaemia is such a worthwhile charity. That’s what pushes you along during training rides, and what will ensure we complete that 500km.”

Ben added: “I remember where I was when Stiliyan was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2012. We’d just come in from training and saw the news flash up on Sky Sports’ yellow ticker.
 
“We had a few lads at Albion who used to be at Villa, like Boaz Myhill and Liam Ridgewell. They knew him really well. It was horrible.

“Stiliyan’s an absolute diamond of a gent. We take so much for granted that when something like that happens, it puts everything into perspective.
 
“Thankfully, like Geoff, he managed to pull through.”

Geoff said: “It’s fantastic to have Ben on board. I really, really don’t want to have to wear a Baggies shirt! But if he does raise £50,000, I’ll stick to my word.
 
Considering the cause we’re cycling for, I’m sure Wolves fans won’t mind for one day.”  


To sponsor Ben, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/BenFosterL2P/ 


WATCH: Geoff Thomas challenges Ben Foster to raise £50k


 

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'We must stop luck being the deciding factor.'

20 year old leukaemia patient Jaymz Goodman.
'We must stop luck being the deciding factor.'

20 year old leukaemia patient Jaymz Goodman.