Newton St Boswells to St James’ Park
The day started on the village green with a few locals wishing the lads well as they set off on their days cycling. The start wasn’t easy for Alex, Smudge and Geoff – 5 miles of what Matt could only describe as a rollercoaster of ups and downs...and the ups were steep! The very south of Scotland provided some stunning scenery to distract them from the hard climbs and on the border, a kilted gentleman bought them in to England to the sound of bagpipes.
We were all reminded of what we were here for at lunchtime when Joan popped over to the pub. She had spotted the vans and banners from her living room and came to wish the boys well for their cycle. Her daughter had been treated for leukaemia at the age of 21, greeted with hugs from the Villa boys she made a generous donation to them, leaving us with the news that her daughter’s treatment was successful and she was well. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
The afternoon went through Northumberland in bright sunshine and St James’ Park soon appeared on the horizon. Newcastle United sorted out an impressive arrival with the three super cyclists going down the emergency tunnel on to pitch side...this was just the beginning of a tremendous level of support from the Geordies. Wy-aye man.