Mental Health Nursing lecturer celebrates 500 games in charge of local football team with 400-mile cycle ride

Categories: School of Health and Society

Mental Health Nursing lecturer Dr Tony Gill (pictured below) is planning to visit to visit 61 sports clubs in a 400-mile cycle ride this June to support the club he has managed for almost 20 years.

Tony will be raising money and awareness of the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MND) and Manorlands Hospice. He will also be raising money to build a new clubhouse for Burley Trojans Football Club, where he has been a supporter and manager for 20 years.

He became involved with the club back in 2004, when his then eight-year-old daughter and three of her friends came to the house and asked if he thought it a good idea for them to start a football team. Tony was keen to encourage the girls and agreed to be their manager, not expecting their interest to last more than a few weeks. Now, 20 years and over 500 games later the team is still going strong. 

Tony explains: “We have faced all sorts of challenges and discrimination on the way; it’s been a very interesting journey! From picking players up who have slept rough and sorting them out with some breakfast before a game, helping support people through mental health challenges, buying boots, paying subs and even using flour to mark out the goals when it hadn't been done for us!”

The cycle ride, which Tony is aiming to complete in just five days, will take him from Lords - the home of cricket - across to Twickenham, then over to Brentford Football Club before setting off up the towpaths of the Grand Union Canal to Birmingham, across to Tamworth, Coventry and Stoke, Macclesfield and up to Manchester, round the Rochdale ring and across to Leeds before finishing at Gargrave.

If you would like to support Tony’s work, you can do so at the links below.

Tony Gill

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