Warwick business owner to cycle 150 miles with family and friends for charity

Ashley French (left)  after he had finished last year's Football to Amsterdam event.
Ashley French (left) after he had finished last year's Football to Amsterdam event.
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A Warwick business owner will be taking on a 150-mile cycle ride this weekend with his dad to raise money for charity.

Ashley French, who is 41 and the owner and director of Charnwood Cars on Dongan Road, will be taking on a cycle ride from London to Amsterdam.

L to R: Dave Wright, Dave Morris, Bill Otto, John French.

L to R: Dave Wright, Dave Morris, Bill Otto, John French.

The ride, which is called “Football to Amsterdam 2017”, is organised by Prostate Cancer UK and is backed by both the English Football League and the League Managers Association.

This year up to 400 football fans are due to take part in the race, which is taking place June 9 to June 11.

Ashley, who lives in Leamington, took part in the event with a couple of his friends last year but this year will be joined by nine friends and family members, including his dad John for his team,“Team Arsenal”.

The 41-year-old lives with a long-term condition called ulcerative colitis which results in the inflammation of the colon and rectum.

Ashley said: “Last year I did the event with a couple of friends, this year we have a team of 10 people going, including my dad who is in his 70s.

“Before both last year’s and this year’s event I have been recovering from major surgery and have used the cycle ride as part of my recovery. I also did it because my dad has prostate cancer and has done for many years. It is absolutely great to have my dad on the bike ride.

“Last year I managed to raise £1,500 for the charity and so far this year I have managed to raise £1,300 but as a group all together we are up to about £15,000.”

John French, Ashley’s dad who lives in the Forest of Dean, said: “I am excited but apprehensive about the ride as I am 71 and it is quite a long way to cycle for me but I am very much looking forward to it and it will be great to do it with Ashley. Three of my old friends who are also from the Forest of Dean will also be joining.

“I was diagnosed with prostate cancer about five to six years ago but it is managed and monitored.

“It means a lot to raise money for the charity but it means more to me that last year Ashley did the same charity ride and he did it for prostate cancer.

“When Ashley did the ride last year he was recovering from major surgery but he didn’t sit around feeling sorry for himself he thought about other people, which I think is very admirable.

“After he did the ride he said to me ‘why don’t you do it next year dad?’ I couldn’t refuse.”

Ashley, John and the rest of “Team Arsenal” will be setting off on Friday, June 9 for the charity cycle ride.

Football to Amsterdam 2017, is an annual cycle ride organised by Prostate Cancer UK and is backed by both the English Football League and the League Managers Association. Alan Smith, who played for Arsenal, Les Ferdinand from QPR and Sean Davis from Fulham FC are a few taking part. Up to 400 football fans are due to take part in the race, which is taking place June 9 to June 11. The event starts at the Velodrome in London and finishes at the Amsterdam ArenA.

To donate to Ashley’s fundraising page go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Charnwood-Cars