FORMER Newcastle Falcons star Ollie Phillips is cycling the 235 miles from London to Brussels this year in honour of his grandmother.
Phillips is part of the England Sevens squad after a professional career which has seen spells at Stade Francais and Gloucester, graduating from Durham University before making his breakthrough with the Falcons.
The flying winger is raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Society, a cause which is close to his heart following the news his 87-year-old nan Audrey is suffering from dementia.
Phillips, whose cycle ride starts in London on September 5 and finishes at the Brussels Beer Festival on September 8, said: “With my 30th birthday coming up I thought this was the perfect opportunity to do something out of the ordinary in honour of nan.
“I also want to raise much-needed funds for Alzheimer’s Society to support the vital work they do with people with dementia and their carers. I am inviting all my friends to join me, so I’m hoping the trip will also double up as a three-day birthday party too!
“There are still places left for members of the public, so if you want to join in the fun and raise money for a worthy cause sign up now.”
Liz Monks, director of fundraising at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We are delighted Ollie has decided to celebrate his birthday by giving his time to join us on the London to Brussels bike ride.
“One in three people over 65 will develop dementia.
“It is caused by diseases of the brain and can happen to anyone. As a charity, we rely on the generosity of individuals like Ollie to help us continue our vital work.
“Please back him and his mates in their fundraising efforts so that Alzheimer’s Society can continue leading the fight against dementia.”
To sign up for the London to Brussels cycle ride before the deadline at the end of January, visit www.alzheimers.org.uk/cycling