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Geoff Thomas completes epic charity challenge

Sandwell | Sport | Published:

Geoff Thomas, Ben Foster and more than 200 amateur riders brought Paris to a halt on Sunday afternoon after completing their 500km cycling challenge in aid of Cure Leukaemia.

The group set off from Greenwich Park on Thursday at 8am and completed their challenge when they pedaled past the Arc de Triomphe to arrive at the finishing post, next to the Eiffel Tower, at 4pm on Sunday.

It was an emotional moment for former England and Crystal Palace midfielder Geoff and his family, with wife Julie, daughters Madison and Georgia and sister Kay, who provided him with a lifesaving stem cell transplant, all completing the ride with him.

Cure Leukaemia Patron Geoff Thomas said: "The four days on our bikes were absolutely fabulous.

"Since my illness, I can't produce tears and I was grateful for that at the finish because I would have been a blubbering mess.

"Riding with my family, I really started to fill up at the end. I'm so proud of them. They've been with me all the way through my battle and they've done fantastic."

As the post-ride party began in blazing Parisian sunshine under the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, there was a special moment for Thomas and fellow L2P rider Professor Charlie Craddock.

The Cure Leukaemia Co-Founder is credited for saving his life after he was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia in 2003 and given just three months to live.

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Thomas is over halfway towards his target of raising £1million for Cure Leukaemia and the work of Professor Craddock through this summer's L2P and 'Le Tour – One Day Ahead' challenges.

"All of these riders have been raising funds for Professor Craddock which will bring new hope to leukaemia patients," he added.

"So effectively, there's already thousands that have been helped by the money they've raised.

"If we can build on it, and keep beating that drum, we'll try and eradicate this disease because there are some great people that we're funding."

The L2P peloton also included England and West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster, England Under-20s coach Aidy Boothroyd, ex-Crystal Palace winger John Salako, former Birmingham City defender Darren Purse and Gary Lineker's son George, also a leukaemia survivor.

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