Stevenage to Paris cycling challenge in memory of footballer’s father

Sam Harte and Callum Rowe are set to cycle from Stevenage to Paris for Bloodwise. Picture: Courtesy

Sam Harte and Callum Rowe are set to cycle from Stevenage to Paris for Bloodwise. Picture: Courtesy of Callum Rowe - Credit: Archant

In memory of his father, Callum Rowe and his friend Sam Harte will set off on an epic cycling challenge next week.

Callum, 26, and Sam, 29, will leave Stevenage next Friday morning and aim to reach Paris on the Sunday afternoon, when they will have cycled about 250 miles.

The pair are taking on the challenge to raise money for blood cancer charity Bloodwise in memory of Callum’s father, Steve, who died from leukaemia in February 2009.

Steve, who lived in Stevenage Old Town, was just 51 when he died. Since his death, Callum and Sam have raised nearly £15,000 for Bloodwise.

Callum, who lives in Stevenage and went to The Barclay School, came up with the idea for the cycling challenge in April – despite neither of them owning a bike – and the duo have been training hard.

He told the Comet: “We have chosen to support Bloodwise as it’s a charity I have been fundraising for regularly over the last 10 years, mainly through social poker tournaments.

“This time though I wanted to try a more physical challenge. Training has been tricky to fit in around busy work and social lives – and of course the lure of the pub in the recent hot weather! – but when I have managed to get out I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. Going from not owning a bike in July to now taking this on next week has been a big step!

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“I’m really excited for next Friday to roll round, even though I’m sure I’ve done nowhere near enough training. I’ll definitely try and continue cycling even after we’ve finished the challenge.”

Sam, who lives in Biggleswade, said: “Training was going well, with some long rides coming in, and I was feeling confident, and then I dislocated my knee on Saturday during a football match.

“It was a nervy two days but I got the go ahead from the doctors, who confirmed it was less damage than expected and, with rest and supporting the knee, I should be ok to do it still.”

Callum and Sam, who are both current long-term first team players for Knebworth Football Club, intend to set off from the Old Town at 6am on Friday, August 31, and reach The Eiffel Tower in Paris on the Sunday afternoon.

They are still looking for donations, and sponsors from businesses or individuals, in order to reach their £2,000 fundraising target.

Callum said: “Bloodwise is a fantastic charity and we have managed to raise almost £15,000 over the last nine years for it through the overwhelmingly generous support of friends and families.

“As always, any donation, no matter how much, will be gratefully received and help us to achieve our target.”

To donate, visit

For more about Bloodwise – which was formerly Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research – visit