A group of former Hull FC players are cycling the breadth of the country to raise money for local Alzheimer’s and dementia charities following several former club representatives being recently diagnosed with the conditions.
Those affected by the conditions include former Black & White head coach Royce Simmons, who was recently diagnosed with dementia.
Simmons was a one-club man at Penrith Panthers throughout his playing career, where he also spent time as a coach throughout the 1990s. But sandwiching his tenure as coach of the Panthers were spells as coach of Hull FC and St Helens.
Unfortunately, the rugby league community has been hit hard by Alzheimer’s in recent months and years. As well as Simmons, the likes of former Black & White stars Tony Duke, Chris Davidson, George Robinson and David Doyle-Davidson are all battling the disease.
That’s why a group of former club stars will be cycling from Hull to the Totally Wicked Stadium in St Helens, the two Super League clubs coached by Simmons, following the Trans-Pennine Trail route across the north of the country.
The Black & Whites face Saints on Friday 13th May, which coincides with Dementia Action Week, and Thursday 12th May, over 20 former players will take on the challenge of cycling over 100 miles to Merseyside to raise funds for various organisations that support those suffering with dementia, including our former Hull FC stars.
Dean Busby and Andy Dannatt, both of whom played under Simmons at Hull FC, will be joined by several ex-Hull players on the challenge as they all show solidarity towards their fellow former Black & Whites, including: Keith Tindall, Chico Jackson, Leroy McKenzie, Maea David, Rob Danby, Kev Gray, Craig O’Donnell, Matt Schultz, Richard Fletcher, Dave Stevenson, Stan Pickering, Pat Howdale, Craig Jackson, Steve Crooks, Matt Richards, and Rich Wilson.
Whilst on their way to the North West, the riders will be following a route carefully planned by former club and Great Britain physiotherapist Keith ‘Cheggars’ Warner.
All funds raised will be distributed locally to organisations or groups who support people with dementia or Alzheimer’s, with an amount offered to Royce Simmons for his cause, also.