'We are the champions' - Hartlepool fundraisers perform tandem victory lap around town as Freddie Mercury and Boy George

Two fundraising friends raised a smile and money for Hartlepool’s hospice after riding around town on a tandem dressed as two pop icons.

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 7:00 am

Phil Holbrook and pal Darrel Slater saddled up for a 20-mile cycle on Saturday dressed as Freddie Mercury and Boy George in aid of Alice House Hospice.

It was an encore after racking up 111 miles on the two-seater bicycle throughout July.

They even stopped off and ran the 5km Hartlepool Parkrun at Seaton Carew and paid a flying visit to the hospice which cares for people with life-limiting illnesses.

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Darrel Slater (left) and Phil Holbrook pay a visit to Alice House Hospice which they raised money for in their 130-mile tandem ride during July.

Phil, 60, from the Fens, devised the Cycle a Century fundraiser and invited others to do their own challenge as part of his #TeamSally 12-in-12 Challenge series of monthly events.

He and Darrel, from the Park Road area, earlier dressed up as Freddie and David Bowie respectively when they knew they were going to hit the 100-miles.

Darrel opted for a change of outfit to that of the Culture Club frontman for their final outing on Saturday morning which took them from the Fens, to Seaton, West View, Headland, Throston and Owton Manor.

Phil, a retired council worker, said: “The weather was against us in parts with the rain and wind as well so that made it difficult.

Phil and Darrel stop off at St Hilda's Church on the Headland.

"We stopped and did Parkrun and were going to stop and have a dip in the sea and make it a triathlon but decided not too!”

It was all part of Phil and his supporters’ ongoing efforts to raise money for Alice House Hospice in his late wife Sally’s name through the charity #TeamSally.

Sally tragically died in a car crash near Greatham aged 48 in December 2012 which also left Phil with multiple serious injuries.

Since 2014 the charity has inspired £47,000 in donations for the hospice which Sally was a big supporter of.

Phil Holbrook and Darrel Slater with their tandem bike dressed as Freddie Mercury and Boy George.

While Phil learned to walk and run again, he needed to ride on a tandem as his balance has been affected by nerve damage.

Phil added: “We’ve had lots of people acknowledging us; beeping their horns and waving.

"One person stopped us on a level crossing and gave us £20 after recognising us.”

#TeamSally are planning a music fundraiser at The Fishermans Arms on Thursday, August 12, and will have a float in Hartlepool Carnival parade.

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