Beccles coaches set off on Premier League cycle challenge

Robert Crisp and Mark O'Donnell from Beccles Caxton Football Club who are cycling 1,100 miles around

Robert Crisp and Mark O'Donnell from Beccles Caxton Football Club who are cycling 1,100 miles around 20 Premiership Football grounds to raise funds for new floodlights. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Two Beccles football coaches have set off on a 1,100-mile cycling challenge where they will be racing against the clock to visit 20 Premier League grounds in 11 days.

Mark O'Donnell and Robert Crisp began their challenge at Wembley Stadium this morning and hope to finish back at Norwich City's ground in Carrow Road when they take on Arsenal in the last game of the season next Sunday.

The men, who have been running youth football teams in Beccles and Bungay for 10 years and now run Beccles Caxton Football Club's Under-19s team, are hoping to raise as much as they can towards the £40,000 floodlights needed for their pitch.

The floodlights will allow them to start up an Under-18s team next season, which would play in a midweek league in the evenings.

Mr O'Donnell said: 'We are really looking forward to the journey and to completing such a big challenge.

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'We are both excited and nervous but it's nice to push ourselves and have a goal we are trying to reach.

'We've had a really good response from everyone so far and hopefully we will collect even more sponsorship when we return.'

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Mr O'Donnell said the football club has its own pitch, stand and changing rooms, but desperately needs floodlights to allow younger footballers to play in the evenings. The pitch is used by two senior teams at the weekend.

The men travelled down to London with their bikes on the train yesterday, ready to start their challenge bright and early today.

They will be visiting all six London clubs before journeying around the rest of the country.

Mr O'Donnell added: 'We have been going to the gym a couple of times a week and have been going out on our bikes when we can.

'The fitter we are the more we can enjoy it.'

Both men will be documenting their trip on their Facebook pages and anyone who would like to donate can drop into Beccles Caxton Club in Gaol Lane, or contact Mr O'Donnell on 07919 373110.

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