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Saddle-sore cyclists complete their tour of Premier League grounds
FIVE football-mad friends have completed an epic charity cycle tour to every Premier League ground in the country.
The pals concluded their 1,000-mile journey with a trip to St Mary’s on Saturday, followed up by a last stop at Wembley Stadium.
The group – which includes Saints club chaplain Andy Bowerman – are hoping to raise £50,000 for the Lionsraw charity’s legacy project in Curitiba, Brazil, following this summer’s World Cup.
Money raised through their gruelling efforts will go towards creating a new education and football centre which will be used by thousands of children living in Curitiba’s poorest areas, known as favelas.
Their 12-day journey – dubbed the Tour de Prem – began at Swansea City’s Liberty Stadium on April 15.
Since then they have crisscrossed the country between all 20 Premier League grounds, and stopped off at St Mary’s just before Saints’ 2-0 win over Everton.
And there was one last stop before the five could put their feet up for a well-earned rest, with the team arriving at the home of England’s national team, Wembley, on Saturday evening.
Mr Bowerman, 46, who is also Lionsraw’s international development officer, said: “We were quite euphoric when we completed it, but it was a bit strange when I woke up yesterday and didn’t have to get on to a bike.
“None of us had done much more than 20 miles a day before, and we all had moments where we wondered if we would be able to continue.
“The section between Manchester and the north-east, over the Yorkshire Dales, was probably the toughest part.
“But although I’ve got a few aches, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
“The new centre we are raising money for will be based in one of Curitiba’s poorest favelas, and the idea is that it will leave a genuine legacy for the World Cup.”
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