Britain’s leading fine wine merchant Farr Vintners has been announced as the headline sponsor for former footballer and blood cancer survivor Geoff Thomas’ latest and final Tour de France cycling event, one day ahead of the professionals in 2020.
The event, GT15, will take place 15 years after former Crystal Palace, Wolves and England footballer Geoff Thomas was declared in remission from chronic myeloid leukaemia, a form of blood cancer, and the 55-year-old has announced that this will be his fifth and final Tour de France challenge taking place from Friday June 26th – Saturday July 18th next year. Geoff will be joined by a team of 20 amateur cyclists who will take all 21 gruelling stages and 3,470km of the recently announced Le Tour 2020 route a day ahead of the likes of Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas.
Geoff, a Patron of blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia, and his team are committed to raising £1,000,000 for the charity that helped save the former England international’s life.
All funds raised from this event will be invested directly into the national Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) network which Cure Leukaemia will begin funding from January 2020. The nationwide expansion of Cure Leukaemia will see the charity invest £3m from 2020-22 in order to fund specialist research nurses and clinical roles in 12 blood cancer centres across the United Kingdom allowing them to open and run clinical trials for pioneering treatments for the disease. Patients from an increased catchment area of over 20 million people will have access, as a result, to potentially life-saving treatments not currently available through standard care.
This is the second time that Farr Vintners have provided headline sponsorship for one of Geoff’s challenges after previously sponsoring the Geoff Thomas 3 Tours Challenge in 2017.
Geoff said: “I am deeply humbled by the generosity of Farr Vintners and Chairman Stephen Browett for once again supporting myself and Cure Leukaemia in this way. Having the headline sponsorship of such a well-known and reputable company such as Farr Vintners not only elevates our event to hopefully attract further sponsors but it also allows more funds to go to Cure Leukaemia as a result.
Every penny we raise will go directly into helping save the lives of blood cancer patients through clinical trials which help hasten global progress towards the eradication of this disease, potentially within the next 15 years.”
Farr Vintners Chairman Stephen Browett said:
“Many people will be aware of my love of Crystal Palace and Geoff will always be a hero of mine from his time playing for the Eagles. What he has gone on to achieve in helping eradicate blood cancer, after his own battle, has only increased my admiration for him.
Geoff showed me the progress Cure Leukaemia has had since Farr Vintners supported him in 2017 and we are very proud to have played a part in their national expansion. I look forward to working with Geoff, Cure Leukaemia and the rest of the GT15 team to ensure they hit their fundraising target of £1,000,000 before they begin the challenge in Nice on 26th June.”
How funds raised for Cure Leukaemia help save lives