Saddling up to ride for Parky

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DREADING the long drive to Middlesbrough this weekend to watch The Seasiders?

If so, spare a thought for three kind-hearted Pool fans who are raising money for charity – by making the trip on bikes.

Blackpool physio Phil Horner waving off cyclists Matt Smith, John Aspinall and Nick Smith

Blackpool physio Phil Horner waving off cyclists Matt Smith, John Aspinall and Nick Smith

Nick Smith, Matt Smith and John Aspinall set-off yesterday morning on a 150-mile cycle to raise money for Blackpool coach Gary Parkinson.

The 43-year-old was left with ‘locked-in’ syndrome following a massive stroke last year.

A number of events have been held in recent months to raise money for the family, the latest coming about after a conversation in a pub.

Organiser Nick Smith said, “It sounded like a good idea when we first spoke about it on a summer’s day in The Taps in Lytham.

“Now it’s here its totally different, but it’s for a great cause. It was originally my idea to raise some money for Parky. We were going to do a sponsored walk, but in the end we settled on a bike ride to Middlesbrough.

“We are close to the £2,000 mark now, hopefully we can get over that before we arrive on Saturday. We’ve had support from Burnley and Preston fans too, none of us have forgotten Gary.”

Middlesbrough is one of Parkinson’s former clubs.

“We couldn’t have asked for anything more with the weather so far,” said John Aspinall.

With the aid of physio Andrew Ogilvie, they aim to make it to the North East just before kick-off tomorrow.

To donate visit http://www.justgiving.com/podcast forparky