HUDDERSFIELD TOWN’S Magnificent Seven Wembley cyclists became the Magnificent Nine – at least for the first 52 miles.
Former riders in the Pedal for Pounds 3 from Yeovil, Derek Highe and Steve Dove, tagged on for the first leg to Worksop.
Town chairman Dean Hoyle jumped on his bike to lead the 200-mile fundraising trek to London, which left the Galpharm Stadium at noon yesterday.
Flag-waving relatives, supporters and club officials counted down to the start of the ride, which aims to raise at least £45,000 to take 1,000 under-privileged kids to Saturday’s play-off final against Sheffield United.
Dean revealed that the total had already topped £40,000 and said: “It makes me very proud that we have such generous fans.
“There are lots of under-privileged kids out there who would never get to the Galpharm Stadium never mind Wembley and this is about giving them a great life experience.”
Dean said he had a “love-hate” relationship with his bike and the euphoria after the recent 260-mile Yeovil ride made him rashly promise to cycle to Wembley if Town reached the final.
“The Yeovil trip was a nightmare and I never wanted to see my bike again but making a difference to young people’s lives will be worth all the pain,” he said.
The ‘Magnificent Twosome’ Derek, of Mirfield, and Steve, from Skelmanthorpe, couldn’t afford the time off for the whole trip but wanted to show their support.