Fans are being encouraged to throw their support behind our assistant manager Steve Parkin as he aims to raise as much money as possible for the Stephen Darby Foundation with a charity cycle ride.
Having worked with Stephen himself during his time at Bradford City and then again here at the University of Bolton Stadium, the defender’s diagnosis of motor neurone disease last year was a heart-breaking one for his loved ones, friends and all those associated with the game.
In true Stephen Darby spirit however, the 30-year-old immediately started the process of setting up a foundation to raise money to try and help others who live with and fight the terrible disease.
"Stephen is one of the most determined and dedicated professionals I have ever worked with,” said Parkin. “His drive at Bradford helped us bring unparalleled success in a cup final, promotion and FA cup run to the quarter finals beating Chelsea along the way.
“His will to win was a pivotal part of this amazing story and off the field you could not wish to meet a better human being and such an inspiration to us all.
"With that in mind, we would like to get Stephen’s Foundation off to the best start with a charity cycle ride the width of England.
"My friends at the Sherwood Ranger pub decided it would be a great idea to do the 136 mile ‘Coast to Coast’ – Workington to Tynemouth on May 17, 18 and 19.
"Being in our 50s, we feel it’s a real challenge because none of us are keen cyclists but if we show the Stephen Darby spirit, we will get over the finishing line.
"So, myself Kev Hunter, Paul Bailey, Ross Murdoch, Tony Morris, Tim Breaker and Chris Caulton supported by Paul O’Neil and Paul Gibson on logistics are going to being doing just that.
"For everybody who knows us could you please give generously for Stephen’s Foundation, everybody from Football and beyond can really help and support us get up those hills.
"The last leg takes us into Tynemouth and Stevie will be joining us to the finish line, so feel free to cheer us on we will probably need it."
At present, the group have already raised over £9,500 with £2,000 recently being donated by the Bolton Wanderers Supporters’ Trust (pictured above).
To donate to this extremely worthy cause meanwhile, please visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/c2cstephendarby.