Huddersfield Giants stars are to swap the comfort zone of the pitch for the pain of pedal power as they cycle 120 miles in memory of promising rugby player Ronan Costello.
Eorl Crabtree will lead the pack from Huddersfield to Newcastle as they raise money for Headway, the charity that works to improve life after brain injury.
Ronan, 17, a youth academy player with the Giants’ Under-19s, died on June 14 last year three days after suffering a severe traumatic brain injury in a game against Salford Red Devils. Headway provided specialist support to his family in the period after his accident and following his death.
The ride, over May 19/20, precedes the Giants’ May 21 match against Catalan Dragons on Magic Weekend. All riders will wear bespoke cyclewear provided by Fat Lad at the Back (FLAB), which caters for the bigger cyclist. The firm’s name is a term of endearment for founding fat lad Richard Bye.
As the anniversary of Ronan’s death approaches Eorl, 34, said he and his fellow riders wanted to do something that continued to celebrate his life.
“Ronan will be on our jersey as we ride up to Newcastle thanks to FLAB; they have supported us all the way. I’m 6ft 5in and 18 stone, so as well as FLAB being a great fit for our cause they’re also a great fit for me as an athlete.”
He adds: “We want to raise as much as we can. Personally, I would love to see lots of support for us and Giants in terms of donations whilst on the ride and at Magic Weekend. It will be two great days of rugby league which should not be missed... but after 120 miles in the saddle I’m not sure I will be able to sit down and enjoy the games!”
FLAB founder Richard Bye will join Eorl and his fellow Giants heavyweights providing mechanical assistance and a support vehicle. He describes the event as “a perfect match for our core values.”
He adds: “Rugby is close to my heart and one of the safest sports around when you consider the tremendous impacts the players experience – all the more reason why accidents such as Ronan’s need to be remembered, to raise awareness and keep the sport safe.”
To support the fundraising campaign visit www.justgiving.com/magicweekend2017 or text 70070 with code RLFC50 followed by £**, entering the value you wish to donate.