Poolie Andy takes up Paris charity pedal challenge

Andy Mason

Andy Mason

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A KEEN cyclist is set to represent Hartlepool United in an epic riding challenge.

Andy Mason will cycle the 244 miles from Wembley Stadium, in London, to the Arc de Triomphe monument, in Paris, in aid of national charity Help the Hospices.

He will be representing the club in the Football League’s Arch to Arc challenge, which is due to take place over four days this summer.

Mr Mason is taking up the baton for Pools after being tipped off about it by his next-door neighbour Russ Green, the club’s chief executive.

The 47-year-old is a regular on two wheels and has been keeping his eye out for his next big challenge, and the mammoth bike ride certainly fits the bill.

The maintenance engineer, married to Mandy, 48, will embark on the trek on Thursday, June 14.

The dad to Sophie, 20, said: “I can’t wait for the summer now – I’m really excited about this.

“I’ve been doing regular training and have done 145 miles this week to keep up my preparations. I’m confident I’ll make it but you need to make sure you do the work in advance.

“I’ve actually already got a little holiday booked in New York – but I’ve called the hotel and made sure their gym has a bike in there I can use while I’m there.”

The keen cyclist has lived next door to Mr Green for more than 20 years and when they got chatting about the bike ride to raise money for the Football League’s official charity for 2011-12 it was something he was interested in.

Mr Mason, who lives in South Elmsall, in West Yorkshire, added: “It’s such a good cause. I think everyone has been touched in some way by the wonderful work hospices up and down the country do.

“So to be able to do my bit for the charity but also have a great deal of fun and challenge myself at the same time is just perfect so I can’t wait.”

Each of the 72 football league clubs has been twinned with a hospice in its local area and the partnership aims to raise vital funds during this season.

He will be flying the flag for Pools during the epic trip and is appealing for sponsorship.

• To donate visit www.justgiving.com/andrew-mason65 or text HUFC99 to 70070.