Clarets fans to cycle 220 miles to follow team to Fulham

Regular road.cc readers will be aware of Simon Hood’s Bicycle Kicks project to follow York City’s matches on his bike this season. Now, a group of cyclists from across the Pennines are set to follow in his tyre tracks in a bid to raise thousands of pounds in memory of a fellow Burnley fan who died of cancer three years ago.

Seven Clarets supporters plan to get on their bikes – six of them pairing up on tandems, plus one solo rider – after the final whistle of Burnley’s match against West Ham on Saturday 6 February to ride the 220 miles to Craven Cottage where their team plays Fulham the following Tuesday.

The ride starts on the third anniversary of the death in 2007 of 14-year-old Burnley fan Tom Smith, a pupil at Bowland High School, Grindleton, whose funeral was attended by Steve Cotterill, the football club’s manager at the time.

The ride has been organised by Steven Etchells and Nick Entwistle, who explained to the Lancashire Telegraph: “Tom was one of my neighbours in Crawshawbooth. He was a fantastic lad. He would always be smiling even when times got tough. It would have been his 18th birthday in November, so last year we decided that we should do something to remember him.

“The longest we will be riding for is the two days in the middle where we will be doing 70 miles a day, that will be tough. We just hope we get there in time for the match!,” he added.

Money raised will be donated to the Derian House Children's Hospice in Chorley, and donations can be made via the riders’ Just Giving page. 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.