On the morning of 28th July 2015, seventeen members of #team74 comprising of players and supporters assembled at the top of Joe Mercer Way in front of the impressive Etihad Stadium.
Some of the assembled had obviosly been up early, fit eager and ready for the challenge ahead. Others were laid back and confident that their superior fitness and preperation had all been put to good use. A few wished that they had not had that last drink at the Beer Festival the night before. As the early morning rain rescinded and the sunshine began to raise the tempurature, the assembled throng donned the green of 1874 Northwich and proceeded to the marshalling area along with around 2000 other participants in the 26 mile event.
It was at this point that one member of #team74 had the unfortunate experience of falling off his bike before he had reached the start line, luckily no one noticed and definitley no one laughed !!
To the cheers of Vicki, Toddy and Brian we all headed out onto the closed roads of Manchester. Some a little more sedately than other, but all nonetheless intent on completing the challenge that faced them. Eager to give their all in the name of 1874 Northwich and our charity partner Neuro Muscular Centre.
Not wanting to embarrass their fellow riders with their superior fitness, it was obvious that the players contingent were deliberately holding themselves back and the supporters trio of Andy England, Brian Ashley and Nathan Walton were playing the waiting game, no doubt waiting to pounce in the manner of a certain Mark Cavendish in the final pursuit to the finishing line. Unfortunately my cycling plan for the day came to a sudden end, when just as i was descending off the Mancunian Way for the first time I felt the unmistakable wobble of a flat tyre. By the time i restarted i can say with all honesty that i was now Tail end Charlie having seen the remainder of the 2000 riders, including the guy on the unicycle sail past.
Each member of #team74 will have their own stories and memories of what was a most enjoyable day, and i hope that the all enjoyed the experience. However on behalf of 1874 Northwich FC and Neuro Muscular Centre i would like to say thank you to all our riders and those who have supported them with sponsorship. It is events such as this that bonds a club to its community, and for clubs operating at our level that is a vital ingredient to success.