Chris Coleman joins Sunderland AFC staff on sponsored bike ride just days after being sacked

Bradley Lowery touched the hearts of football fans worldwide
Bradley Lowery touched the hearts of football fans worldwide

A group of Sunderland AFC staff - including sacked manager Chris Coleman - will hit the road for the Bradley Lowery Foundation this weekend.

Thirty-one members of staff from across the club are undertaking the epic Five Ferries Challenge, a cycle ride through some of Scotland’s most breath-taking scenery.

The two-day challenge involves cycling 52 miles across the Scottish islands, using five different ferry crossings in and around North Kintyre and Firth of Clyde to complete the route.

There are four cycle stages, encompassing stunning coastline and countryside, involving some of the toughest roads on islands.

Chris Coleman and deputy Kit Symons will be joining the group. The club announced on Sunday that the pair had been sacked ahead of a takeover by a consortium led by businessman Stewart Donald.

Speaking about the challenge, chief executive Martin Bain said: "Bradley had such a huge impact on our football club and it is fantastic to see our staff coming together to support a cause that means so much to them and to Sunderland fans.

"It will be a tough challenge but there is a real desire from the group to complete the route to raise awareness and as much money as possible for the Bradley Lowery Foundation."

Bradley's mum Gemma added: "There have been so many fantastic fundraising initiatives taking place and for the club that Bradley loved so much to be at the forefront of that is brilliant.

"We really appreciate the efforts that the Sunderland staff are going to in order to raise money for the charity and we’ll be supporting them all the way."

Sunderland AFC launched its For Bradley initiative, in conjunction with the Bradley Lowery Foundation, at the end of 2017, with the aim of creating a holiday home for sick children and their families, allowing them to spend precious time together, to be named Bradley’s Place.

Every penny raised by the riders’ efforts will go to the Bradley Lowery Foundation. To support them in their challenge visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sunderland-afc.

The SAFC First Team squad has already donated £5,000 to the fund.

Sunderland AFC has thanked Pro Rider Cycling, Parks of Hamilton, Everyone Active and Totum Sport for supporting the trip