Search

Merson uses pedal power to finish London to Brighton in memory of old mate Ehiogu

PUBLISHED: 14:00 19 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:42 19 June 2017

Paul Merson sets off for the British Heart Foundation's 42nd London to Brighton Bike Ride, supported by Tesco and Jaffa, at Clapham Common in London, riding in memory of Ugo Ehiogu (pic Doug Peters/PA)

Paul Merson sets off for the British Heart Foundation's 42nd London to Brighton Bike Ride, supported by Tesco and Jaffa, at Clapham Common in London, riding in memory of Ugo Ehiogu (pic Doug Peters/PA)

Doug Peters/PA Wire

Former Arsenal and England star Paul Merson took on the British Heart Foundation’s iconic London to Brighton bike ride in memory of former team-mate Ugo Ehiogu to help raise money for lifesaving heart surgery.

Paul Merson sets off for the British Heart Foundation's 42nd London to Brighton Bike Ride, supported by Tesco and Jaffa, at Clapham Common in London (pic Doug Peters/PA) Paul Merson sets off for the British Heart Foundation's 42nd London to Brighton Bike Ride, supported by Tesco and Jaffa, at Clapham Common in London (pic Doug Peters/PA)

Ehiogu died from a cardiac arrest in April after collapsing on the academy training pitches at Tottenham Hotspur, where the coached the under-23s. He was 44.

Eight players are known to have died of cardiac arrests whilst playing in the last year, including ex-Newcastle footballer Cheick Tiote earlier this month.

Every year around 30,000 people have a cardiac arrest outside of hospital, but the survival rate is less than one in ten.

Merson took on the legendary ride as part of a team, pedaling 54 miles from Clapham Common to Brighton seafront, and hopes to raise over £4,000 for the nation’s heart charity.

Cyclists taking part in the British Heart Foundation's 42nd London to Brighton Bike Ride, supported by Tesco and Jaffa (pic John Nguyen/PA) Cyclists taking part in the British Heart Foundation's 42nd London to Brighton Bike Ride, supported by Tesco and Jaffa (pic John Nguyen/PA)

More than 14,700 cyclists took part in the event, which is expected to raise around £2.5million.

Merson and Ehiogu played at Aston Villa between 1998 and 2000, including in the FA Cup final defeat by Chelsea, the last to be held at the old Wembley, and he said: “Ugo was a fantastic player, and friend, who was in the prime of his life when he died, so to lose him so unexpectedly is absolutely devastating for all who knew him.

“We’ve lost so many good players to heart disease recently. It just shows that it can affect anyone, no matter how young or healthy you are. By raising money for the BHF’s vital research, hopefully we can help find new ways to help stop this from happening to others.”

Now in its 42nd year, the London to Brighton bike ride, sponsored by Tesco and Jaffa, is Europe’s oldest charity cycling event and has seen hundreds of thousands of cyclists pedal over 41million miles, helping to raise nearly £70million for the BHF.

Shonali Rodrigues, head of events at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Heart disease is heartless. It devastates the lives of millions of people across the UK, which is why we’re incredibly grateful to Paul, and all our riders, for taking on our London to Brighton Bike Ride and supporting our vital research.

“We cannot thank our riders enough for their incredible support and sheer determination to make it across the finish line.”

Registration for the 2018 London to Brighton on June 17 is already open at bhf.org.uk.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories

Troy Townsend hopeful Ryan Mason will remain in the game and can picture him being the perfect role model for aspiring professional footballers

12:37

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger wants Jack Wilshere to sign a new deal but has revealed the decision is not just his as the club look to reduce his basic salary in favour of a more appearance-based wage.

12:00

Leah Williamson has backed the returning Kim Little to inspire Arsenal Ladies to SSE Women’s FA Cup glory this season.

The two National League clubs go into the contest at Brisbane Road on Saturday in decent form after enjoying strong starts to 2018

The clash at the Old Spotted Dog had to be abandoned after only four minutes due to a potential leg break

Karen Hills’ team return to league action after having Sunday off and the mood in the camp is positive ahead of hosting the Hornets

12:30

A row between parents and the council about whether road closures will increase air pollution at a Stoke Newington primary school came to a head last night.

Tracy Prescott, who has devoted her life to fighting knife crime, tells the Gazette how the death of her son’s best friend spurred her to start a movement.

PROMOTED CONTENT

To celebrate LGBT history month, Hackney resident Amanda talks about her journey to becoming a foster carer, with the council’s support and training.



Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists