Steve gets on his bike for Magpies

Chorley FC manager Garry Flitcroft and Steve Barker
Chorley FC manager Garry Flitcroft and Steve Barker

Steve Barker has become the first person to sign up to Chorley FC’s Fundraising XI after the club launched an appeal for volunteers in last week’s paper.

The idea is to find 11 fans to join a special ‘Magpies XI’, who will each pledge to raise a minimum of £500 by taking on a fundraising challenge of their choice.

All the monies raised from the challenges will then be split 50/50 between the football club and Derian House children’s hospice.

Chorley boss Garry Flitcroft gave the idea his full backing and called on fans to come up with some wacky ways of raising the money

As a result Mr Barker – a keen Magpie fan – came up with the idea of riding from Holland to Chorley on his bike – a challenge he believes will take up to 10 days to complete.

Mr Barker said: “After reading about the fundraising XI in the Guardian, I began to think of things I could do to help raise money and came up with the idea for the bike ride.

“I’m going over to Holland to work on a project for six weeks and the plan is to ride back.

“I’m working in Rotterdam so I’m going to start from Feyenoord’s ground and ride back to Chorley.

“I’ve worked out it should take somewhere between a week and 10 days to complete.

“I used to be a keen cyclist when I was younger but I haven’t been on a bike for a while so I guess I need to start training quickly!”

Chorley FC boss Garry Flitcroft added: “This is a magnificent gesture by Steve and I really hope our fans will get behind him.

“The club will be setting up a JustGiving page shortly so people can sponsor Steve and help him reach his target.”

Anyone interested in signing up to the Chorley FC fundraising XI should contact Andy Neild on 07852 951649 or email