An employee from Airbus in Broughton cycled the first stage of the Tour de France in Germany last month as part of the annual Grand Départ event to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK.
Aircraft fitter Steve Futcher, who works in Airbus’ single aisle factory which produces wings for its A320 and A330 jetliners, took on the 128 mile course from Düsseldorf to Liège a week before the professionals.
Steve was diagnosed with prostate cancer four years ago, doctors told him that the cancer was organ-confined and he underwent an operation to remove his prostate and was in remission.
But after 14 months the cancer came back and Steve travelled 35 miles every day to Clatterbridge to undergo a further 33 sessions of radiotherapy, he is now in remission for another two and a half years.
“It was after the fabulous care and treatment I received that I decided to do some fundraising for Prostate Cancer UK,” says Steve. “The support they gave me was superb but it all costs money. That’s why I try to give a bit back each year because the funds raised can help any man reading this story.”
“The support they gave me was superb but it all costs money. That’s why I try to give a bit back each year because the funds raised can help any man reading this story.”
Steve also wants to help break down the stigma attached to men’s health, “Fellas, don’t be afraid to go to your GP if you’re having trouble with your waterworks, there’s a quick and simple test that could save your life,” he adds.
In spite of a strong headwind and more than 4000 feet of elevation Steve, along with 80 other riders, managed to complete the gruelling stage in a time of 7 hours and 51 minutes and has now signed up for next year’s ride in France.
Head of Events for Prostate Cancer UK, Andy Sallnow, said:
2017 was our second Grand Départ Classic, which we created to give our supporters a glimpse of the professional Tour de France experience and soak up the magic of one of the biggest sporting events on the planet.
One man dies every hour of prostate cancer in the UK, which is why the funds raised are so crucial.
It was brilliant to see the Men United peloton roll past the same iconic landmarks, on the same roads as the professionals who sped through just over a week later.