This year marks 16 years since Geoff was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia and told he had just three months to live. Luckily, he lived close to Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Cure Leukaemia’s co-founder Professor Charlie Craddock CBE. Under his care, Geoff was able to access the latest treatments for this form of blood cancer enabling him to undergo a life-saving stem cell transplant as his sister, Kay, was a perfect match.
Reflecting on this time he said: “I was so lucky. Had I not met Charlie (Professor Craddock), been able to receive the latest treatment for the disease and my sister not been a match I would not be here today. So many patients I met during that time didn’t make it and that’s why I have dedicated my life to giving back ever since.”
Our 1990 FA Cup final captain is aiming to raise £1m for Cure Leukaemia, and Geoff is looking for 14 amateur cyclists to join him for this ultimate experience next summer, as he looks to complete the 2,200 miles for the fifth time in 14 years.
“I am looking for a team to join me for my last tour. It’s a year away so there is time for people to prepare for this experience. I’m not going to dress it up, it is tough, really tough but it is amazing what people can achieve when they have a focus and determination to succeed. There are no blockers here – young or old, male or female we would like to hear from you.”
Cyclists who are keen on joining Geoff should go to www.GT15.co.uk where they can register their interest. It costs £10,000 per rider to take part initially with a commitment to raise at least a further £20,000.
Geoff added: “It is vital that the fundraising is not forgotten about in this story – it’s why I took up cycling and it’s why I am going through the pain of another Tour. To finish my cycling career knowing that we have raised at least £1m for this fantastic charity would be so special to me."
Next year will be 30 years since the 1990 FA Cup final, an occasion Thomas played in all 210 minutes of, so it promises to be a special summer for our former Eagle.