While thousands of Bantams fans flood on to trains, coaches and planes for the club’s Capital One Cup final, a trio of supporters have decided to turn their journey to Wembley into a charity challenge – travelling by bike.
Bradford Council youth worker Nazaket Ali, 46, and youth service volunteers Karl Cunningham, 19, and Sohail Afzal, 20, will cycle 217 miles from Bradford to the capital to raise money for the Lord Mayor’s Sprinkle Sunshine Appeal and Marie Curie Cancer Care after being inspired by Bradford City’s cup heroics.
Sohail, who has a visual impairment and is blind in one eye, with only 30 per cent vision in the other, will be travelling on a tandem bike piloted by Nazaket during the three-day journey.
The group has received a message of support from Otley’s Olympic cycling silver medalist Lizzie Armitstead.
Their trek will start from Bradford on Wednesday, February 20, and will see the cyclists pedal to Lincoln City’s ground, a ride of approximately 76 miles.
Day two will see them ride from Lincoln to Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, again 76 miles, before tackling the final 65-mile leg of their journey from Huntingdon to Wembley.
Nazaket, who watched his first game against Sheffield Wednesday in 1983, said: “We’re all Bradford City fans and we wanted to take the occasion to do something to help others, as well as celebrate what has been a brilliant few years for young people’s cycling in Bradford.”
Sohail, who has been cycling for eight months, said: “I’m not able to ride a bike on my own, so going on a tandem is fantastic. We’ve already raised more than £1,200 for the Lord Mayor’s Sprinkle Sunshine Appeal.”
The group thanked businesses across the city for their support, including sponsors Northcliffe Motors and the Dubrovnik Hotel.
The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Dale Smith, urged people to back their quest, and said: “This is such a great initiative.”
Anyone who would like to donate to the Lord Mayor’s Sprinkle Sunshine Appeal should call (01274) 434965 or give to Marie Curie Cancer Care at justgiving.com/ Alexis-Jenner2.