Teacher sets off on 2,000-mile cycle from one Stadium of Light to another

Cyclist John Shell sets off in his charity ride from Sunderland's Stadium of Light to Lisbon's Stadium of Light to raise money for Alex's Angels and Neurovlastrma Alliance, with the Mayor of South Tyneside Coun Richard Porthouse, Mayoress Patricia Porthouse, Alex Turner, Mark Purvis, Helen Lee and son Max.
Cyclist John Shell sets off in his charity ride from Sunderland's Stadium of Light to Lisbon's Stadium of Light to raise money for Alex's Angels and Neurovlastrma Alliance, with the Mayor of South Tyneside Coun Richard Porthouse, Mayoress Patricia Porthouse, Alex Turner, Mark Purvis, Helen Lee and son Max.
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A Washington teacher has taken on the ‘incredible challenge’ of cycling from one Stadium of Light to another as he looks to raise over £3,000 for charity.

John Shell, who teaches at Biddick Academy, Washington, set off from the home of Sunderland AFC yesterday as he began his 2,000-mile journey to the stadium’s namesake in Lisbon, Portugal.

It’s an incredible challenge for me, especially considering I’ll be by myself

John Shell

The Black Cats season ticket holder is raising funds for Alex’s Angels, a fundraising drive set up by South Shields teenager Alex Turner – who was given the all-clear earlier this year after being diagnosed with laryngeal cancer last October – for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Half of the funds will go to Neuroblastoma Children’s Cancer Alliance in memory of the son of colleague Helen Lee, whose 22-month-old son Ben died in 2011 after battling the disease.

Mr Shell, 43, of South Shields, said: “It’s an incredible challenge for me, especially considering I’ll be by myself. It will just be me and my trailer, so there’s going to be a lot on my shoulders.

“The heat will be the most difficult thing to cope with, especially in the middle of Spain. The further south I go, the harder it will be because it will be a lot hotter and hillier.”

John caught a ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam yesterday, and will today set off on his ride across Europe, travelling through Holland, Belgium, France, the Pyrenees and into Spain and Portugal. He expects to cycle about 500 miles a week, and plans to complete the challenge within four weeks.

So far, almost £3,000 has been raised, smashing through the keen cyclist’s original target. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/teams/sol2sol