CelticFC

BT Sport
BT
New Balance Logo
Dafabet Logo Magners Logo
BT
  • Back
  • Show All
  • First Team
  • Reserve Squad
  • Academy
  • Women's Team
  • Commercial
  • Match Reports
  • Tickets
  • Celtic View Button
Autumn ClearanceCeltic CompareCTV LilleChristmas LaunchFootball For Good Fund
  • Peter gets in gear for  Celtic FC Foundation's 'The Road To Lisbon'

    Peter gets in gear for Celtic FC Foundation's 'The Road To Lisbon'

    By: Newsroom Staff on 02 May, 2017 15:13

  • WHEN Peter Ledwidge, Celtic fan and golf professional, decided to mark the 50th anniversary of the Lisbon triumph he got on his bike. More than 6,000 kilometres of training later, he is ready for a historic challenge.

    At 51, he is set to ride the 1,300 miles from Celtic Park to the Estadio Nacional in Lisbon with 27 fellow cyclists – The Road to Lisbon.

    “I never was a cyclist,” he said. “But I have always been a Celtic supporter. The significance of this year wasn’t lost on me. I was keeping up to date with all the news on the Celtic website and I read about the plans to cycle to Lisbon. I was thinking about going to Lisbon on a pilgrimage as I am sure many will.

    “I thought, ‘I wish I was a cyclist as I would have done that’. But then I realised that I had eight months to train. So I signed up. I got my first bike and got stuck in.”

    And now he has Grace, a gleaming custom-made bike, with the names of the Lisbon legends and words of inspiration adorning her sleek frame.

    He said: “I picked up Grace a couple of weeks ago. I have been a golf club maker so I realise the importance of customised equipment. I got a specialised frame fitted by Gary Kirk, bike fitters. We elected to go for titanium.”

    But why was she christened Grace? Peter explained: “One, because she is amazing. Two, because you don’t want to fall from her. And lastly for the song we sing at matches.”

    He said all this with a smile but Peter knows the seriousness of the challenge facing him. The itinerary is simply stated. It will, of course, be much more difficult to do. The cyclists leave Celtic Park on Thursday, May 11, and ride six days to Portsmouth. There is a day’s respite as they take the ferry to Santander. Then there is the final seven-day swoop into Lisbon. It is a brutal 1,300 miles in the saddle.

    But Peter has prepared, using the traits of his job. “I believe it is a bit of an advantage being a sports professional,” he said. “I understand the importance of certain things. I started off spending hours on a bike just getting my skeleton used to the riding position. I also lost weight.

    “I studied and practised the techniques of climbing and descending and the vital matter of how you recover from a ride.”

    He added: “Riding a bike is easy. But if you want to ride eight hours a day for 13 days it becomes a real challenge. The enormity of it dawned on me immediately and I have taken it very, very seriously. I have done over 6,000 kilometres in training, including one of 300 kilometres. If the training is harder than the game, you have a better chance of succeeding.”

    The biggest surprise was that he had to find courage. “You have to learn to be brave enough to ride behind someone in a group, half-a-wheel behind, at speeds of up to 50kmp an hour.”

    The journey, of course, is being undertaken for charity with Celtic FC Foundation, Solving Kids’ Cancer and Children in Crossfire sharing the proceeds.

    Peter said: “I have set a target of £1,967 but I am confident of far exceeding that. I’m looking forward to the last day. We will cycle two-and-a-half kilometres from the hotel to the stadium. I look forward to meeting the thousands of fans in Lisbon and seeing their faces when they see I am one of the idiots that cycled all the way.”

    And there’s still time to support the monumental effort of Peter and his fellow cycling Celts here:

    ONLINE - https://mydonate.bt.com/teams/theroadtolisbon

     TEXT - text LISB17 followed by £1, £5 or £10 to 70070

    Everyone at Celtic FC Foundation wishes Peter, organiser Paul Muldoon and every other Bhoy and Ghirl taking part, the very best of luck. We’re so proud of you.

    Most Read

    • Celtic PLC Annual Results

      Celtic PLC Annual Results

    • Celtic FC Foundation provide emergency food packages to young people

      Celtic FC Foundation provide emergency food packages to young people

    • Celts lose UEFA Europa League opener to clinical AC Milan

      Celts lose UEFA Europa League opener to clinical AC Milan

    • Football for Good Fund online auction is now live

      Football for Good Fund online auction is now live

    • Thousands of season ticket holders have registered their household. Have you?

      Thousands of season ticket holders have registered their household. Have you?