We were fierce opponents on Saturday afternoon but come February and ahead of our next meeting with York City we’ll all see a different and refreshing side of football as a group of Minstermen fans will be cycling from York to Northampton. This isn’t just your standard fundraiser, either, as it all came about after the tragic death of Cobblers fan David Henderson following last season’s fixture between the clubs at Sixfields.
All money raised from the bike ride – which has already confirmed ten City fans to be taking part – will be donated to the British Heart Foundation in Mr Henderson’s memory.
Ian Jones, one of those taking part, explained:
“The idea for the fundraiser was first sparked by seeing the events that followed last season’s fixture at Sixfields first hand and was something that touch all fans of both teams, not just myself. We all have our stories of how we have been influenced into the game or any sport, and usually it comes from a family member taking us to our first game and the following addiction begins. My dad has played a huge part in my love for my club and the game, and it only felt right to do something in honour and memory of Mr Henderson. When we were on the way back up north after the game, I had the idea in my head which is where it stayed for a while until I looked into it and then began to ask around friends who were at the game and also witnessed the events. They also jumped on the idea of a bike ride and from there it’s really started to take off.”
The ride will take place over three days in the build up to the Cobblers – York game on 21st February and Ian says they’ve set some clear targets in terms of distance per day as well as hoping to break their fundraising target.
“In terms of targets,” he said, “we’re looking at cycling 50 miles a day over 3 days which means setting off from Bootham Crescent on the 19th February to be in time for this year’s fixture at Northampton on the 21st of the month. In terms of donating, we really didn’t know how much we would get or how much we deserve, so we set the target at £1000 but without sounding greedy or big headed, I think all involved would love to smash that target and make as much as possible.”
“Training has already begun for some of us! Personally I’ve got 45 miles under my belt over the past three weeks which isn’t that impressive but saying I hadn’t ridden a bike in over three years it’s a start. We’re planning on getting all riders together at some point in the near future and having a day out to see what it’s like riding in a pack and sorting out a pace that we can all stick to.”
At the time of writing, the fundraising has reached £343 and Ian goes on to explain how you can get involved in following the project and donating:
“We have a twitter account (@ycfc_2_ntfc), which people will be able to keep up to date with all promotional work we do across all forms of media and also the progress the riders are making through the coming months. To donate, we have a Justgiving page here.
On behalf of all Cobblers fans, thank you to everyone involved from York City and to all who have donated so far. The football family is alive and well thanks to class acts such as this.