Crystal Palace Fans

Palace fans raise £43,000 and counting through Bike to Villa

A group of 33 Palace fans recently made the ultimate away trip by completing a mammoth cycle in aid of the Palace for Life Foundation, raising over £43,000 in the process.

Following the successes of Bike to Bournemouth and Bike to Southampton in previous years, Bike to Villa saw the committed supporters make the gruelling ride to Villa Park, a 140-mile two-day round trip – up from a distance of 100 miles at previous years’ events.

Through their fundraising efforts, the determined group raised an incredible £43,000 – over £10,000 more than previous totals – and counting for the Foundation, who work to improve the lives of disadvantaged young south Londoners.

Although the match at Villa Park itself ended in defeat for Palace, that could not dampen the real victory of the cyclists’ achievements in the name of a brilliant cause.

You can watch highlights from the event, and donate here.

The first day of the ride began early in the morning, with the riders setting off from Selhurst Park and pushing themselves to complete 100 miles in one day.

Amongst the cyclists were Crystal Palace official DJ Jay Knox, Crystal Palace Chief Financial Officer Sean O’Loughlin, and Palace for Life staff Tom Richardson, Tom Prance and Arnaud Zadi.

After a stop off for lunch in the Hertfordshire countryside, evening fell and the cyclists arrived at their hotel in Warwick, exhausted but proud of the day’s ride. They enjoyed a well-earned dinner, drinks, and rest before facing the final leg of their journey on Saturday.

Day two saw the cyclists back on the saddle to complete the final 40 miles to Birmingham, finishing up at Powerleague where they were presented with their medals and congratulated on their mission.

Bobby Webbe, Senior Fundraising Coordinator at Palace for Life, said: “Bike to Villa was another fantastic weekend, with a mixture of new and familiar faces in the saddle for Palace for Life.

“Day one was a tough 100-mile ride in chilly conditions, but seeing the incredible physical effort put in by each of our riders, and the camaraderie between them all was so inspiring to see. There was an immense sense of pride in the air as everyone crossed the finish line on Saturday morning.

“I’d like to give a huge thank you to all of our riders and sponsors for contributing to another record-breaking event for the Foundation – we can’t wait to see where we’ll be cycling to in 2024!”

This was the third cycling challenge in a series that began with Bike to Bournemouth in 2020, which saw the group cycle to the Cherries’ Vitality Stadium despite the game getting cancelled halfway through the ride due to the pandemic; and then onto Southampton in 2022, which ended in a stoppage-time Wilfried Zaha goal to put the icing on the cake of a brilliant weekend.

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