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Former England Footballer Geoff Thomas to Ride the Daily Mirror Great Manchester Cycle

by Holly Blades

Former Premier League footballer and England international, Geoff Thomas, will be riding the Daily Mirror Great Manchester Cycle in support of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. The new urban mass participation bike ride is being held on Bank Holiday, 4th June 2012 and takes place on a 13-mile closed-road loop around Manchester.

During his footballing career, Geoff won nine caps for England and captained Crystal Palace to the FA Cup Final in 1990. Thomas' greatest challenge came shortly after retiring from professional football in 2003 when he was diagnosed with Leukaemia.

"Just as I was getting used to my new life, I was given the shocking news that I had Leukaemia and only three months to live. My life totally changed," said Thomas. "At first, I was given three months to live and then with treatment, it was extended to three years. I was then able to have a successful stem cell transplant."

Geoff Thomas

During his time in hospital Geoff met many people, also with blood cancer, who could not receive life-saving treatment and so lost their fight to Leukaemia. Inspired by their bravery, Geoff now works in partnership with Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to continue his goal to beat blood cancer.

"I am really looking forward to riding with the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research team and being part of the Daily Mirror Great Manchester Cycle," said Thomas. "Being able to ride on closed roads around the centre of Manchester will be a unique experience. I really hope by riding I can help motivate people to take part and help raise much-needed funds to help beat blood cancer."

Other celebrities such as Emmerdale's Tony Audenshaw (Bob Hope) and Tom Lister (Carl King) will also be taking to their bikes on the day for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. 

The event will feature three different distances designed to cater for all abilities, from club cyclists, to families who wish to take in the sights of the city on a ride together. There's Get Out and Pedal over 13 miles, Rule the Roads over 26 miles, or Test Yourself over 52 miles.

Starting and finishing at Eastlands, the home of Manchester City FC, the course takes in the districts of Manchester, Trafford and Salford, allowing cyclists the chance to see their city from a new perspective as they ride along roads normally strictly off limits to cyclists.

Thanks to the newly announced partnership with the Daily Mirror, for a limited period, entrants in each of the 13 mile, 26 mile and 52 mile categories will be able to enter for just £10, instead of the usual £28. Kids entries are just £5, while children between 3-7 can ride for free.

The £10 entry fee not only gains admission to the closed road mass participation event, but you will also be given accurate chip timing, a Great Manchester Cycle T-shirt, a medal and a finishers pack.

Participants wishing to register for the Daily Mirror Great Manchester Cycle and raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research should visit