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[Archived] Bob Wilson Soccer Cycle

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Approaching his 70th birthday, Bob WIlson (ex Arsenal and Scotland keeper) and two associates are close to completing a 500 mile cycle ride taking in all 20 Premier Leage grounds, in memory of his daughter and in aid of the Willow Foundation.

In his own words ...

In October this year I will turn 70. I have been lucky to have enjoyed many football triumphs, most notably my greatest year in 1970/71 when Arsenal won 'The Double'. So how should I celebrate this my 70th/71st year? By following my heart and doing something challenging to support the Willow Foundation, the national charity I set up with my wife, Megs, in memory of our daughter, Anna.

On 18 April I will mark my 70th birthday by taking on the greatest physical challenge of my life. I aim to cycle 500 miles from London to Newcastle via every Premier League football club in the UK followed by a visit to Hampden Park, the national stadium in my Scottish homeland where I made my international debut. Throughout the challenge I plan to increase awareness of the needs of seriously ill 16 to 40 year olds and raise a significant amount of money to fund Willow's work.

They visited Ewood yesterday morning en route from Bolton to Blackpool, with the challenge of crossing the Pennines up to Sunderland and Newcastle ahead of them.

Rovers (as always on this sort of occasion) were brilliant and opened up the Directors Guest Lounge for the 3 cyclists and their back up team to have a break and cup of tea, as well as photos on the pitch and then with the whole squad out on the BBE car park. Bob Wilson and the two others (78 yr old David Tweddell and 57 yr old Steve Cliffen) spent over an hour talking to staff and the dozen or so fans who had turned out to support them.

This is from the blog which can be found - along with the "official" photos from Ewood and a link to donate - at bobwilsonsoccercycle.com. There will also be an interview shown on Rovers TV before the Bolton game.

10.40am – We arrived early at Ewood Park but even so there was a lovely group of people waiting to greet us. We were all invited inside the ground and given welcome refreshments all organised by Matt Hockin, one of my Bob Wilson Goalkeeping School pupils from many years ago. Matt, who works for Blackburn Rovers, made sure that the club were aware of our visit and organised for the manager Steve Kean, goalkeeping coach Bobby Mimms and assistant John Jensen to be there. It was good to meet up with goalkeeper Paul Robinson who'd arrived with the rest of the team. The whole squad posed for a photo before climbing aboard their coach to go for their pre-match meal in preparation for their home game against Man City tonight.


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