Fundraising Hartlepool tandem riders dress up as Freddie Mercury and David Bowie

A pair of cycling fundraisers are aiming to be Heroes for just one more day when they tour town in fancy dress while riding a tandem.

Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 4:45 am

Phil Holbrook and Darrel Slater dressed as pop stars Freddie Mercury and David Bowie respectively to celebrate smashing their initial target of riding 100 miles together during July.

After the public reception they received on their final leg, they are planning an encore performance on Saturday to mark the final day of the month.

Their efforts are part of Phil’s ongoing crusade to support Hartlepool’s Alice House Hospice.

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Tandem riders Phil Holbrook, left, as Freddie Mercury and Darrel Slater, right, as David Bowie.

Retired council worker Phil, 60, who lives in the Fens area of town, has inspired £47,000 in donations since 2014 and devised Cycle a Century as part of his #TeamSally 12-in-12 Challenge Series of monthly events.

He said: “The reception we got when we first went out was amazing. Some people just have not seen a tandem before.

"So, when we knew we were going to hit 100 miles, we thought why not get dressed up in fancy dress as Freddie Mercury and David Bowie?

"We felt Under Pressure when we set off. But everyone was tooting their horns and cheering as we went past.”

Phil and Darrel enjoy a deserved drink after their fancy dress fundraiser.

The pair will either wear the costumes again on Saturday or sport new fancy dress outfits.

Beginning at 9.30am, they provisionally plan to cycle the route taken by Hartlepool United during their open top bus tour of town after winning promotion to the Football League last month.

The #TeamSally 12-in-12 Challenge Series continues until October and is in memory of Phil’s late wife, Sally, who tragically died aged 48 in a car crash near Greatham just before Christmas 2012.

Phil was injured in the collision and needs to ride in tandem with a second rider as his balance has been affected by nerve damage.

Sally Holbrook whose death in December 2012 led her husband Phil to start the charity #TeamSally to raise money for Alice House Hospice.

He added: “The good thing from my point of view is that Darrel is a triathlete and sometimes he rides on a tandem with a blind man and is so good at giving instructions.

"We have only known each other for about 18 months. But you could say that this tandem has really brought us together.”

Further details about joining the challenge, supporting the appeal and Saturday’s ride are available on Phil’s Facebook page and by searching for Phil Holbrook on

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