Former Norwich City star Jeremy Goss sets off to Bayern
Hundreds of well wishers gathered at Norwich Cathedral this morning to see former canaries player Jeremy Goss begin his mammoth bike ride.
Over the next 13 days Mr Goss will cycle 1,300 miles to Bayern Munich to raise funds for Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind.
Mr Goss, 46, was joined by former canaries Chris Sutton, Rob Newman and Ian Butterworth for the first 18 miles.
He said: 'I have covered 110 miles in a single training session but now I have to cover 100 miles a day. I am really, really excited. It's not about an old footballer reminiscing it's about raising money to support the blind. People have given me so much support, I am so grateful. It has taken a lot of organisation.'
While he is on his journey, Norwich will play their first game of the season against Wigan.
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Mr Goss said: 'I can't believe I'm missing the first game. It's going to be an exciting season for Norwich.'
His wife, Margaret and their twin sons Joseph and Jacob, 12, were there to cheer on their hero who had trained solidly for six months in all weathers.
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Mrs Goss said: 'I can't wait to see him in two weeks time in Inter Milan. He has given it 110pc. I want him to finish safe and sound. He is not doing it for himself he is doing it to raise money for the NNAB.'
Joseph said: 'It's great to have a dad who is so fit. We're going to miss him. He went out cycling in all weathers, even when there was thunderstorms and when the roads were icy.'
More than 100 people turned out to support him including former canaries winger Darren Eadie who said he was full of admiration.
The Bishop of Norwich, The Rt Rev Graham James said: 'I think it's wonderful. NNAB is a fantastic local charity and to have Jeremy and his team raising money for them. It's a challenge This is the most extraordinary sponsorship event in the long history of the NNAB Let's hope it heralds a new European campaign.'
Mr Goss was joined on the first leg of the cycle from Norwich to Harwich by Norman Lamb MP who said: 'I will always remember that goal. I was in a pub on Earham Road. When he scored we were leaping around the bar.'
You can follow Jeremy Goss's progress live throughout his 13 day 1,300-mile ride via www.BacktoBayern.com which will pinpoint his position on a route map of his journey.
The site will provide regular updates and photographs, and also enables supporters to donate to the NNAB. You can also follow him on Twitter @11Gossy, and comment using the hashtag #BacktoBayern. In addition, Gossy will be writing a daily diary of his progress on www.edp24.co.uk, and on the NNAB's website, www.nnab.org.uk, where donations can also be made.