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Daughter of Millwall legend Kitchener raising funds for charity

THE daughter of Millwall legend Barry Kitchener is embarking on a 134-mile bike ride to raise funds for two cancer charities.

Kitchener, the club's record appearance holder, passed away last month following a four-week battle with oesophageal cancer.

And Nicole, 29, is hoping to raise awareness about the disease.

She said: "My dad initially had a lot of trouble getting diagnosed and when I looked into it, I found that, by nature, oesophageal cancer is very hard to detect.

"There's not a great deal of research that's been done into it and in most cases, the survival rate over three years is just five per cent.

"There are a lot of types of cancer that get publicity and support these days, and while I obviously don't want to take anything away from them, I felt I should raise awareness for a cancer that is less well-known."

Starting from her home in Norfolk, Nicole has chosen to cycle to The Den, where her father was a hero on the terraces, in the space of just 24 hours to coincide with Millwall's first home game of next season.

She will be joined on her epic journey by friend Jodie Phirkill, and money raised will be split between two deserving beneficiaries – Ochre, an oesophageal cancer charity, and The Big C, a support charity based in Norfolk.

"It was on the morning of my dad's funeral that I came up with the idea to do the bike ride," she explained.

"Initially we thought about doing it over a couple of days but we've decided to do it in just 24 hours. The total distance is around 134 miles, which is just about do-able in that time and hopefully worthy of sponsorship.

"We're going to set-off on a Friday afternoon and aim to arrive at The Den at around 2pm on the Saturday, just in time to cycle onto the pitch before the match.

"When I lived in London I used to cycle to work – but that was only about eight miles! So I'm a bit of a novice at long-distance and that's why I've started training.

"The money we raise will be split between the two charities. I wanted to do something that will benefit both cancer research as a whole as well as oesophageal cancer specifically."

To sponsor Nicole on her bike ride, please click here.

You can keep track of Nicole's progress in training on her website.

And you can follow the #bigkitchappeal on Twitter.

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

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