Longridge Town boss will be getting on his bike to raise funds for former defender

Friends will display their pedal power this weekend in the latest fundraising event for former Longridge Town defender George Melling.

By Gavin Browne
Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 8:00 am

Earlier this year, Melling announced he had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease and was aiming to raise awareness of the illness.

Various fundraising initiatives have taken place with the latest being the ‘Ride 4 George’ event, starting this Friday.

It will see a team of six embark upon a three-day, 240-mile bike ride, stopping off at Melling’s former clubs before finishing on Sunday.

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Former Longridge Town defender George Melling was diagnosed with motor neurone disease earlier this year

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Day one starts at Kendal Town, taking in Lancaster City, Bamber Bridge and Coppull United.

The second day takes the riders to Altrincham, Northwich Victoria and Leek Town, while it concludes on Sunday with the participants visiting Ashton United and Nelson before finishing at Longridge.

Town boss Lee Ashcroft will be among the riders, alongside organiser Mark Fell while Melling is set to join the support group.

Fell said: “I think he’s keen, because of the nature of the illness, to see people, get out and go to his previous clubs.

“It seemed like the best thing to do something like that for him, whereby we could raise money and awareness at the same time.

“We’re under no illusions. We know it’s going to be tough but it’s something we’re going to do for George.

“I know supporters are coming to welcome us as we arrive at each club, so we will get the buckets out and try to pick up as much as we can.”

An online ‘GoFundMe’ fundraising page has already generated more than £10,000 since Melling’s condition was announced.

Figures from within football and the wider sporting world have posted videos of support on social media.

Fell said: “We’ve raised over £10,000, which is brilliant, but we want to raise more and the plan is to get to £15,000 if we can.

“I think George is looking forward to seeing us suffer but we’re looking forward to it.”

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