Charity bike rider Dave Ryder tattoos names of sponsors on his back
STOKE City fan Dave Ryder won’t forget any of the sponsors who are supporting his gruelling charity cycle challenge – after having their names tattooed on his back.
The 32-year-old is gearing up for a 1,250-mile trip to all 20 Premier League grounds on behalf of two-year-old meningitis sufferer Lewis Jones.
And the binman, from Longton, has already had the logos of eight firms backing his mission inked down the spine of his back.
But that number will dramatically increase as the father-of-one has promised to have the signatures of all sponsors who pledge £20 also etched on.
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He said: “There have already been 35 people who have signed their forms and I will have their names tattooed on. I asked my tattooist if I would have enough space and he said there is ‘bucket loads’.”
Dave decided on the fund-raiser after hearing the plight of Lewis, whose dad Nathan is a friend.
He has since set up the Ryder 4 Charity group – a collection of friends and supporters of Lewis – in the hope of raising at least £10,000.
That money will be split between Lewis’s family and the University Hospital of North Staffordshire’s neo-natal intensive care unit.
Lewis, of Longton, had his legs and fingers amputated after contracting the illness.
Dave said: “I have known Nathan for years as we went to school together. When he told me what was going on I was just shocked.
“Lewis is an inspiration and he is always smiling. When you see someone so young dealing with it, it puts things into perspective.”
His efforts have won the approval of firms and charities who Dave has thanked by having their logos tattooed onto him.
The tattoos so far include emblems of One Stop convenience store, Ultimate Ink Tattoo Studio, Graphix, Chatwins Bakery, Reach On Air, North Staffs Local Charity Events and the UHNS Charity.
The Boothen End season ticket holder said: “I have told my friends and the word ‘mad’ has been used.
“I already had a few tattoos so it was fine to have some more.”
Dave will set out from the Britannia Stadium tomorrow and take in all Premier League stadiums before heading back to the home of the Potters after 12 days.
Nathan, aged 32, who works at BAE Systems in Alsager, said: “I am lost for words over what Dave wants to do for us.”
Nathan says the family is now waiting for Lewis to be fitted with prosthetic legs.
Dave’s mum Sue Snow, aged 57, of Longton, said: “I was shocked when he told me what he was planning to do but I am so proud of him.”
His daughter Shannon, aged 12, a pupil at Moorside High School, said: “It’s really good that my dad wants to help out.” A UHNS Charity spokesman said:
He added: “The hard work and effort that Dave Ryder has put into his fund-raising is phenomenal and we are delighted to help and support him where we can.”
To sponsor Dave, visit www.ryder4charity.co.uk.