Nathan McAvoy saddles up for the UK Red Ride to Wembley

Nathan McAvoy saddles up for the UK Red Ride to Wembley

Nathan McAvoy, the former Salford, Bradford, Wigan and England centre, has become the latest Rugby League star to join the UK Red Ride to Wembley.

The 41-year-old, who has gone on to forge a successful business career since retiring through injury 10 years ago, will be one of 26 riders who will cycle over 300 off-road miles from Old Trafford to the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final in August.

He joins ex-Hull FC captain Gareth Ellis, recently retired Castleford Tigers prop Andy Lynch, Kiwi legend Robbie Hunter-Paul and former Leeds and England centre Chev Walker on the epic adventure, which is raising funds for Rugby League Cares. Keith Senior, the former Leeds and Great Britain centre, will also be driving one of the support vehicles.

Nathan said: “I’d heard a lot about the Ride to Wembley and when Robbie (Hunter-Paul) told me he was doing it, I was really keen to be involved.

“I’m excited and looking forward to it. I’m a bit of a fair-weather road cyclist and 300 miles over fields, bridleways and canal towpaths is going to take me out of my comfort zone.

“It’s going to be a huge challenge for everyone involved but as well as raising lots of money for a fantastic cause we’re going to have a lot of fun along the way.

“With so many former players involved there’s bound to be a lot of banter, and that’s one of the things I miss most since I stopped playing. I’ve played with, or against all of the players who are riding and it’s going to be great spending five days in their company en route to Wembley.

“Rugby League Cares is a really important charity that does so much good in the sport. The support they give players is brilliant and this is a great opportunity for me to help them raise money and awareness of what they do.”

Nathan and his fellow riders will set off from Manchester on Monday August 20 and are scheduled to arrive at the Wembley Legends statue at lunchtime on Friday August 24, the eve of the Challenge Cup final.

The riders will take part in a parade around the pitch on the day of the final, when Nathan expects some special Challenge Cup memories to be stirred.

“The Challenge Cup is the epitome of what Rugby League is all about, and I feel very privileged to have played in a final,” said Nathan.

“I scored a special try in the 2000 final at Murrayfield and the whole experience of that day is something that will stay with me forever.”

If you would like to sponsor Nathan McAvoy or any of the other riders on the 2018 UK Red Ride to Wembley, please click here

Save 15 per cent off tickets for the 2018 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, August 25 by purchasing before April 8. Tickets start from £20 for adults and £5 for juniors and can be purchased by calling the Rugby League Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugby-league.com/tickets

Fans booking in groups of 15 or more can save 40 per cent until May 29, with tickets starting from only £12 for adults. Please call the RFL group sales team on 0844 856 1115 for more details.