Eight men, eight ladies shopper bicycles, 500 miles and a whole lot of heart for Diss footballer

Dave Bloomfield

Dave Bloomfield - Credit: Archant

A former footballer from Diss who had his world turned upside down by a brain tumour is being boosted by eight close friends who are cycling off on a mission to help keep him smiling.

Dave Bloomfield with friends

Dave Bloomfield with friends - Credit: Archant

David Bloomfield, 33, played midfield for Diss Town Football Club and was also a business development manager for Santander bank.

In November 2013 he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour after suffering from headaches and blackouts.

The operation to remove the tumour at Addenbrooke's Hospital affected his ability to talk coherently and walk unaided.

But against doctor's predictions Mr Bloomfield, who currently lives in Norwich with his wife Toni, 32 a former beautician, and daughters Coco, two and Kiki, one, battled on and has now walked two steps unaided and his speech is improving.

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Inspired by his determination, a group of eight of his friends are embarking on a 500-mile shopper cycle ride from Land's End to Diss to raise money for him.

Friend Lee Farrell said: 'Dave is an inspiration to us all.

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'He has shown strength and courage that most of us can only dream of.

'If the shoe was on the other foot, Dave would do the same for us. He is the life of the party, he is funny, kind and a loyal friend.

The cycle ride dubbed Shop 'Til We Drop, starts from Land's End on March 29.

The friends will ride an average of 100 miles a day and the journey should take them six days to complete. They are hoping to reach Diss on Friday, April 3, to kick-start the annual King of the Cup Event, which the friends also set up to raise money for Mr Bloomield. Mr Farrell added: 'Our decision to use female shopper bicycles for this charity ride is because as kids, we all had children's bikes, but Dave loved to ride his mother's shopper, even when he did his paper-round.

'Of course at the time we laughed at him, but now as grown men we will be riding them, which is even funnier.'

To sponsor the riders, visit http://gogetfunding.com/project/shop-til-we-drop

Do you have an inspiring story? Email michelle.finch@archant.co.uk

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