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Maidenhead duo complete charity cycle in memory of footballer Gary Speed

Will Taylor

A pair of Maidonians have supported a Premier League team’s charity initiative in memory of a much-loved footballer by cycling from Newcastle to Liverpool.

John Maden, 61, and Andy Watt, 55, completed the 230-mile ‘Speed Cycle’ to raise money for The People’s Place, a mental health facility planned by Everton FC in honour of Gary Speed, the Welsh footballer who took his own life in 2011.

They set off with other riders to visit the grounds of Speed’s old clubs, starting at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park on the morning of Saturday, June 1.

Over the course of the weekend, they rode to Leeds United’s Elland Road before cycling through to Bramall Lane – home of Sheffield United – and stopping by Bolton Wanderers before finishing at Everton’s Goodison Park.

They hope to raise £65,000 for The People’s Place campaign.

John, an IT worker from Cox Green, said the ride was ‘very tough’ but he felt it was important to back the campaign and take part because of Speed.

He said that because Speed had a lot of good things in his life, ‘if that can happen to him it can happen to anybody’.

Visit johnmaden to donate to John’s page or to donate to wealth management adviser Andy’s by visiting


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