Today, 350 riders representing 50 Football League clubs will be starting out from Barnsley FC's Oakwell Stadium and London's Olympic Park to cycle 145 miles to the Dutch capital over the weekend, raising £500,000 to help beat prostate cancer. Here are just a few of those braving the saddle sores and their personal motivations that will keep them pedalling through the pain barrier.
"I’m riding Football to Amsterdam in support of my dad, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013. I’ve been attending Walsall FC matches with my dad for over 25 years. He’s always been there to support me and help fix any problems I’ve had. Whilst I can’t fix my dad’s problem, the ride is my way of showing support to him. I hope the funds and awareness raised help dads, grandads, brothers, sons, uncles and friends or anyone else in the future that have to go through what my dad has, or hopefully mean they don’t have to go through it at all."
"Having lost my dad to the disease and then my mum shortly after to breast cancer, I knew I had to do what I could to fight cancer. I work in a privileged world that enables us to raise a greater profile and therefore help fight prostate cancer using the power of football."
"As someone living with the disease, and as a keen cyclist – which I took up as part of my post-operative recovery – I felt this was something positive I could do to help raise funds."
"I’m riding Football to Amsterdam for my father-in-law, my friends who are affected and for my (always loved and remembered) Uncle Pete. My effort is small compared to yours."
Tim Kent, riding with friend Iggy Milomo
"Prostate cancer is something we didn’t know a lot about. But only last week I found out one of our friends, who lost his wife to breast cancer 17 years ago, now has prostate cancer – so it really is something that’s close to our hearts. After seeing the event advertised on the Bradford City website, we decided to fundraise together and smash the £2,000 target."
"I’m riding to show my support for Geddykins, Mick, John and anyone else affected by prostate cancer."
"This is my second Football to Amsterdam. I’m riding with ‘Team Garby’ in memory of my dad (pictured above, right). The aim is prostate cancer awareness and to raise much needed funds!"
"I decided to ride for Prostate Cancer UK because I am acutely aware of the number of people whose life this affliction has already impacted. Moreover, the statistics show there will be many more."
"I received a £50 donation for my London to Amsterdam charity bike ride for Prostate Cancer UK from a man I’ve never met with the following message: ‘Go Gary and good luck. I am a season ticket holder in the East Stand and currently being treated for prostate cancer. I am so grateful for guys like you. Thank you for your huge effort.’ It makes all the training miles and the 145 miles I’ll ride all worth it! A truly humbling message! A huge thank you to an amazingly brave and kind man and AFC Bournemouth fan."