The Crystal Palace team took time out after training to show their support for Stephen Kingdom, a diehard fan who is cycling to every Eagles home and away game this season to raise money for disability charity, Contact a Family.
Forty-six-year-old Stephen from Cheam, who is two thirds of the way through his epic ‘Cycling the Season; challenge with another 2,000 miles to go, was congratulated for his efforts by the team, with manager Sam Allardyce and captain Scott Dann giving some personal words of encouragement and support. The players also presented Stephen with a signed ‘Kingdom 1’ shirt to congratulate him on his efforts so far.
Speaking about Stephen’s feat, captain Dann said: “It’s incredible what he’s doing, hopefully coming down to the training ground and meeting some of the lads will have given him a bit of a boost and is a recognition that what he’s doing hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“Obviously the physical element is one thing but the mental side as well - grinding out the miles in all weathers, you’ve got to applaud his efforts. We all shook his hand to say well done, it takes some doing and it’s for a great cause.”
The dad of two has clocked up a phenomenal 5,000 miles cycling to and from the league and FA cup matches that the Eagles have already played and spent 389 hours in the saddle – the equivalent of 260 football matches. Stephen aims to raise at least £10,000 for Contact a Family - a national charity that supports families with disabled children whatever their child’s disability or medical condition.
Having chatted to Allardyce and posed for pictures with the team, Stephen said: “The support I have had from Crystal Palace, the fans and other Premier League teams across the country has been unbelievable. Cycling and Crystal Palace Football Club are my two hobbies and I’m enjoying combining the two to raise money for Contact a Family.”
to view an interview with Stephen at the training ground as he met the players and management.