POMPEY legend Linvoy Primus is heading a challenging 180-mile cycle for charity.
The star joined 27 other riders to make the three-day trip from Fratton Park to Crawley Town FC’s Broadfield Stadium, then on to Brighton & Hove Albion’s new Amex Community Stadium. From there, they will cycle back to Portsmouth.
It’s hoped the mammoth bike ride – which began at 9am yesterday – will raise £15,000 for Faith and Football, and so far the keen fundraisers have generated £10,000 through sponsorship and donations.
Although this is the fourth time the charity has organised a football themed bike ride, it is the first time Linvoy has been able to take part in it.
During the first two he was forbidden by coaches because he was still playing football and last year he was suffering from a knee injury.
He said: ‘It’s a great feeling to be part of it this year, it’s very exciting but I’m nervous too because it’s a tough route.
‘The main thing for me is making sure that my knee is alright because I don’t want any repercussions of the injury, so I’ll need to keep an eye on that. But I’ve been training for six weeks, and by the end I was going out three evenings a week for hours at a time, so it should be fine.’
The cyclists slept on the hall floor of the Crawley Community Church last night in sleeping bags and tonight they will rest on the floor of the Salvation Army Centre in Brighton.
One of the organisers, Mick Mellows of Faith and Football, said: ‘By sleeping in churches it brings us closer to the people we support and helps us build up a strong relationship with them.
‘It’s good for them to get to meet Linvoy and talk to him about his experiences as a professional footballer and how he combined that with his faith.’
The riders are due to arrive back at Fratton Park around 4pm tomorrow, when the Pompey Study Centre is hosting a fun day in aid of the charity in the stadium’s car park. There will be a host of children’s games and activities at the event, from 3pm to 6pm, including Royal Navy cooking demonstrations, beat the keeper, live bands, bouncy castle, competitions, face painting, the Pompey Bus and more.
All funds raised from the cycle and the fun day will go towards the charity’s community and education programmes.