The riders

The riders

Full details of the 23 lycra-clad heroes who will take the road less travelled on the 2020 UK Red Empire State 500 will be published shortly…

Keith Senior

Keith started his RL career at Sheffield Eagles where he was a member of the team that sprang the biggest upset in Challenge Cup history with victory over Wigan in the 1998 final at Wembley. He spent most of his career at Leeds Rhinos, winning three Super League Grand Finals, and gained 33 caps for Great Britain. Keith is now assistant coach at Sheffield Eagles and will be at Wembley on Saturday when the club take on Widnes Vikings in the 1895 Cup final.  He is also player support officer for RL Cares and not as grumpy as he often likes to make out.

James Elston

James is a former Dewsbury Rams and York player who moved into sports administration following his retirement, when he went on to work at Hull KR before being appointed chief executive at Wakefield Trinity. He is Managing Director of Wakefield-based Yorkshire Boilers and JAM Marketing and Media.  James completed Ride to Wembley in 2017 and 2018, despite the unique nature of his comedy bike wheels.

Robbie Hunter-Paul

Robbie was the first player to score a hat-trick of tries in a Challenge Cup final at Wembley as member of the Bradford Bulls team defeated by St Helens in 1996, when he won the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match, He was an integral figure in Bradford’s success between 1994 and 2005, when he helped the Bulls to four Super League titles. Robbie was capped 29 times by New Zealand and now runs his own marketing agency, as well as being a member of BBC TV’s matchday commentary team.

Nathan McAvoy

Nathan played at the highest level for his home-town club Salford, Bradford, Leeds, Wigan and Leigh, where his career was ended by a knee injury in 2008. He collected a Challenge Cup winners’ medal with Bradford in 2001 as a try-scorer in their 24-18 defeat of Leeds at Murrayfield, and made four appearances for Great Britain. Nathan completed Ride to Wembley in 2018 was involved in a diplomatic incident when he and a group of riders unwittingly invaded the country home of the Prime Minister, Chequers.

John Johnson

John is a semi-retired pharmacist from Hull who is taking part in Ride to Wembley for the second time.  A Hull FC supporter, John has to take some credit for persuading Gareth Ellis to come out of retirement during last year’s ride: we are unable to confirm reports that Gareth decided getting beaten up every week in Super League was less painful than riding alongside semi-retired pharmacists from Hull…

Kevin Ferriby

Kevin is Managing Director of Hull-based Informed Financial Planning and is involved in Ride to Wembley for the second successive year. A Hull KR fan, Kevin spent much of last year smiling through gritted teeth at John Johnson’s recollections of Hull’s Wembley wins in 2016 and 2017.  Ride to Wembley 2019 will be the longest continuous time Kevin has spent in the UK in recent memory.

Beth Sutcliffe

Beth was capped 22 times by England in a glittering playing career that spanned four World Cups until her retirement in 2018, when she moved into coaching as co-coach of Bradford Bulls alongside Kirsty Moroney.  A keen cyclist and fitness fanatic, Beth works as a project manager for Greater Manchester Moving, a campaign to encourage more people in the region to take up physical exercise and sport.

Neville is Executive Producer of In Touch Productions and was head of Rugby League on Sky TV for over 30 years before stepping down earlier this year. An Australian and proud Manly fan, Neville is a member of the RFL Roll of Honour and a keen supporter of RL Cares.  He is hoping to complete Ride to Wembley without cheating this year, having done three days of last year’s ride on an electric-powered bike after his mountain bike was stolen at the end of Day 1 in Buxton.

Kevin Walton

Kevin is managing director of the ride’s title sponsors UK Red Security and Fire Systems, a Leeds-based company that offers security solutions to domestic and industrial customers across the UK. Kevin devised the concept of Ride to Wembley and in the last two years has been responsible for more people getting lost than the ticket office at Hampton Court Maze.

Simon Lewis-Pierpoint

A former Wigan and Bradford Bulls junior, Simon in managing director of ride sponsors SDA Studio Architects, a Chorley-basedbespoke architectural practice that continues to win awards for its outstanding work. Simon has ridden to Wembley with us in 2018 ands 2019 and was involved in the infamous Chequers incident alongside his former Bradford team-mate Robbie Hunter-Paul.

John Ledger

John was Rugby League correspondent for the Yorkshire Post between 1995 and 2009 and, writing as Ed Hughes, the RL correspondent for the Sunday Times for 10 years until 2009, when he joined the RFL as media manager. He joined RL Cares as communications manager in 2016. John writes a regular cycling column for the Yorkshire Post on riding the county’s toughest hills and is responsible for devising this year’s route.