Legendary umpire Dickie Bird was on hand to launch Michael Vaughan’s ‘Chance to Ride’ fundraising peloton at Headingley on Saturday.
Former Yorkshire player, England Captain and current Yorkshire board member Michael Vaughan and his team of fundraisers begain their gruelling 462 miles PruProtect Chance to Ride charity bike ride from a chilly but sunny Headingley on Saturday morning.
Dickie Bird, who retired from umpiring in 1996 and is a regular at Yorkshire and international games at the ground, sounded the starting klaxon and waved the green flag for the riders, who were fuelled with Yorkshire Tea from Little Urn, also waving them off.
The Chance to Ride event is due to take 12 days over the NatWest One Day International Series and sees a number of fundraisers joining Michael Vaughan throughout the stages.
Chance to Ride is a unique event combining challenging cycling with amazing cricket to help children through sport. It is following the England v Australia – NatWest One Day International series, travelling to each of the cricket venues before ending in London on September 17.
Vaughan, who guided England to Ashes victory in 2005, said: “There was no better place to start Chance to Ride than at my old home ground on Headingly and I can’t think of anyone more suited to sending us off than Dickie Bird.
“I never had the pleasure of playing a Test Match that he officiated but everyone knows what a legend he is in the world game and the fact that he took the time to support us today is a real honour. We’re only just starting but the support and fundraising of those taking part or watching the ride will be invaluable as we look to help young people through sport.”
Dickie Bird said: “I’m passionate about encouraging children to play sport so I was delighted to help Michael launch his event today. I know how much sport means to him and how driven he is to helping Laureus and Chance to Shine provide sporting chances to youngsters. I’d like to wish him and his team the very best of luck.”
A number of celebrities are taking part on the ride including Vaughan, former England cricketers Phil Tufnell and Andrew Strauss, Olympians Victoria Pendleton and Louis Smith, former England midfielder Jamie Redknapp and former British tennis Number One Tim Henman.
Saturday’s 80-mile first stage started in Leeds and travelled towards the Peak District and the Trans Pennine trail before passing Torside Reservoir and finishing at Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester.