Neil “Bully” Bond will be kicking off Sarcoma Awareness Month with an 86-mile cycle between the grounds of two football clubs to raise funds for life-saving research.
He is set to ride from the home of Nottingham Forest F.C. to the home of his beloved Bradford City AFC on Saturday 1st July, with all proceeds donated to the Matthew 22 Fund – a Special Fund of the Bone Cancer Research Trust.
Bully's Bike Ride will honour fellow football supporter Matthew Hollingworth, who was just 22 years old when he passed away from osteosarcoma in February 2022.
Neil is a close friend of the Hollingworth family and is supporting them towards their £30,000 fundraising milestone.
The cycle is a touching tribute to Matthew, who was a loyal Nottingham Forest fan and season ticket holder prior to his death.
Reflecting on his upcoming challenge, Neil shared:
After being diagnosed with bone cancer, Matthew did not sit down or wallow. He stood proud and faced it head on. When anyone mentions Matthew's name, it is with pride and kind words. There's no community without unity, so I'm calling on the football communities to help raise vital funds and ensure that future patients do not suffer as he suffered.
Kate Connor, Regional Relationship Manager at the Bone Cancer Research Trust, said:
Neil's incredible efforts are so inspiring! His support of the Matthew 22 Fund will go such a long way for bone cancer patients and their families. We here at #TeamBones HQ wish him the best of luck with his challenge. We know you will conquer it.
After experiencing pain in his left shoulder for several months, which was put down as muscle damage and resulted in painful physiotherapy, Matthew was eventually diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham.
In the 11 months that followed, Matthew endured three rounds of chemotherapy, followed by the amputation of his arm and two thoracotomy operations to remove the tumours in his lungs.
Sadly, a routine in September 2021 showed that the tumours in his lungs had returned. Treatment restarted in October, but was hindered due to a severe infection that Matthew developed. He passed away on 16th February 2022 with his family by his side.
After his passing, Matthew selflessly donated his body to medical science to help further our understanding of osteosarcoma and progress research in this area.
If you would like to show Neil your support, please visit his JustGiving page below:
To find out more about the Matthew 22 Fund, visit: