Newcastle fans cycle to Borussia Dortmund's ground for charity

The cyclists with Eddie Howe
Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe greets the five charity cyclists at St James' Park

Five Newcastle United fans are cycling to Germany ahead of the Magpies' Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund.

The supporters hope to raise over £10,000 for the Brave Hearts of the North East children's charity.

They left St James' Park on Saturday, and after taking the ferry from North Shields to Amsterdam, will make their way to the Signal Iduna Park stadium.

The aim is to be there ahead of Tuesday's match at 17:45 GMT.

The group - Michael Embleton, Jonny Purvis, Scott Beattie, William Jones and William Armstrong - describe themselves as "normal guys" rather than "avid cyclists".

The Newcastle fans have raised over £5,500 so far, and have had an offer to match that of up to £5,000.

Although they will cycle about 181 miles (291km) on their way to Germany, the fearsome fivesome do not have tickets to attend the match itself.

They said the chance to raise money and get to follow their favourite team was what would push them through the pain barrier.

"We're a close-knit group, so we'll get through the challenging days together," Mr Purvis told BBC Radio Newcastle.

"The charity is in the back of our minds and the great cause we are raising money for.

"If we can come away with three points as well it would make the trip all the better."

Two of five Newcastle fans cycling to Dortmund for charity
Jonny Purvis (left) and Michael Embleton (right) are two of those cycling to Dortmund

Newcastle travel to Dortmund hoping to secure a win, after losing 1-0 to the Bundesliga side when they visited Tyneside on 25 October.

The following day the German club's bus driver fell foul of parking restrictions in Tynemouth and was fined £50.

Chris Forster, from the Brave Hearts North East charity, which supports children with life-limiting and life-challenging conditions, said: "We're a pure self-funding charity so we rely very much on the support of the guys, who've very kindly identified us as a charity they'd like to support.

"They have worked very, very hard, they are raising a lot of money for us, but more importantly it's raising awareness of the charity - we are 35 next year."

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