Former Newcastle United defender Robbie Elliot teamed up friend, triathlete Phil Gray, last month to tackle their gruelling 3,500 mile cycling fundraiser, Bike For Bobby. They completed 25-day challenge in less than four weeks, all in support of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
Bike For Bobby saw Robbie and Phil cycle from Lisbon to Newcastle via Porto, Eindhoven, Ipswich and London (Fulham and Wembley) as they paid tribute to Sir Bobby and his incredible work as a football manager of international repute.
Congratulations on completing your incredible journey, we’ve all been inspired by yourself and Pete’s efforts, how do you feel looking back on it all?
We are so proud of what we have achieved. It was the messages of support from the Robson family and Breakthrough Breast Cancer that really hit home and proved that we were doing the ride for the right reasons. We were actually making a difference.
Bike for Bobby was an admirable fundraiser, what was it that inspired you to set up a cycling campaign specifically?
I’m not sure! I didn’t even have a bike when I came up with the plan! The idea of the ‘Bike for Bobby’ ride was inspired by my relationship with Sir Bobby Robson and was a small way of repaying my thanks for bringing me back to Newcastle United.
We followed your progress the whole way and we’re inspired by your dedication, what would you say was the most challenging part of your trip?
It started from the onset – 170 miles on the first day and then 150 miles the next. Four climbs which were the equivalent of climbing Everest from sea level on day two! We climbed this over the course of the ride four times. Personally the four days between Lyon and Luxembourg were the worst when I was suffering with chronic sickness This was a very tough soul searching time.
It seemed like a rollercoaster trip, but what were your personal highlights?
Apart from cycling over the Tyne Bridge and seeing so many cyclists at the Cycle Sportive on our return, the real high points were when we arrived at each stadium where Sir Bobby worked. The reception we got and the respect for his memory shown was inspiring and humbling.
Bike for Bobby contributed to helping with the fight against cancer, what would be your message to those hoping to do the same?
It’s amazing if you just stop thinking about it and just do it. Every little gesture contributes to fighting this disease. Everyone can make a difference.
Robbie Elliott founded The Robbie Elliott Foundation earlier this year as a registered charity to raise funds to fight cancer. It could not be easier to show your support for such an incredible cause, you can contribute by:
Photo Credit: Richard Stout Photographer