Eight-year-old cycling fanatic Oliver Banyard is doing his bit to raise much-needed funds to help save Worksop Town Football Club with a unique sponsored cycle ride round the club’s Sandy Lane pitch before next Wednesday’s Northern Premier South East Division league fixture against Newcastle Town.
In doing so, Oliver hopes to be able to raise a significant amount of money to help The Tigers’ in their £30,000 campaign to help pay off outstanding club debts by the end of this month, which will pave the way for his Grandad, Peter Whitehead, to become the new club chairman.
Oliver has calculated that 80 laps round the Sandy Lane pitch equals around 18.61 miles. Those numbers are, of course, significant because they correspond with the year of Worksop Town’s formation, 1861, which makes the club the fourth-oldest in the world. A proud statistic we are desperate to keep alive.
“I know how much my Grandad loves football,” Oliver said. “I’ve heard him talking about Worksop Town needing donations and I thought I could help by doing what I love and riding my bike to help raise some money.”
Cycling is Oliver’s passion. He has already won first place honours in various categories, including Sheffield Schools’ Under 11s, Sheffield Club Under 8s, and Sheffield Go Ride Under 8s. He also finished second in the North of England and Scotland Under 8s competition and third in the Under 8’s British Individuals 2019
Sheffield Club riders of various age groups will also be at Sandy Lane on the night to assist and support Oliver in his 80-lap task.
“I am so unbelievably proud of my grandson,” Mr Whitehead commented. “He works so hard and it shows with all his achievements this last year. He knows how much football means to me and for him to want to do this shows the kind of child he is. I know he will carry on to great things. We all believe in him and, more importantly, he believes in himself.
Oliver is asking for people to sponsor him at 10 pence per lap, setting a target of £8 each person should he reach his 80-lap target.
To sponsor Oliver – and help Worksop Town FC – please go to
Oliver’s ride is due to begin at Sandy Lane at 4.30pm on Wednesday, February 19th, and he hopes he will be able to complete his task in around two – three hours. The Worksop Town v Newcastle Town match kicks off at 7.45pm. Gates will be open from 6:30pm for fans to go along and show their encouragement and support.