Pedal For Petrov

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter


Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew, along with Shola Ameobi, Steven Taylor and Mike Williamson, got on their bikes for charity on Thursday morning.

The quartet joined Aston Villa club masseurs Alex Butler and Andy Smith, and former England international footballer Geoff Thomas, on the second leg of their cycle challenge Pedal for Petrov, in support of 33-year-old Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov, who was diagnosed with leukaemia in March.

As a group, they did a lap of the Sports Direct Arena pitch before the masseurs and ex-Crystal Palace midfielder Thomas hit the road again on the second leg of their gruelling charity ride.

Pedal for Petrov saw the two masseurs start at Petrov's former club Celtic on Tuesday, and they will cycle up to 80 miles a day over the following five days, finishing at Villa Park. They are hoping to raise £250,000 for blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

As well as the Sports Direct Arena, there are several other stops at Premier League football clubs en route, including Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Everton.

"It's fantastic," centre-back Williamson told

"Any events like this I love to be a part of and to encourage. It's a great cause and fantastic to meeting the lads and see the sort of effort they are going through over the next few days.

"There are some tough days ahead of them, physically and mentally, but the Villa masseurs are going the extra mile for the charity and deserve a lot of credit for that.

"It highlights the camaraderie and spirit within football clubs. You work together every day, build bonds and if someone is in trouble or needs help then everyone does whatever they can to support.

"I have played against Stilyian a couple of times over the years. He's a fantastic player and as good guy as well. We all wish him a speedy and full recovery."

Jonathan Andrews, fundraising director at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, said: "We are inspired by Alex and Andrew taking on this 400-mile Pedal for Petrov challenge.

"And we are so grateful that they are supporting Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research's life-saving work. The valuable funds they are raising will help us find better treatments and cures for patients with blood cancers including leukaemia, lymphoma and myloma."

To support the Pedal for Petrov challenge, donate at or text "STAN91 £3" to 70070.