Champagne, July 8, 2012
An intrepid group of cyclists, including some top sporting names, have made the 526km journey from London to Champagne in France this week to raise funds for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
Joining the group were celebrity fundraisers Michael Vaughan, a Laureus Ambassador, and former Premier League and Republic of Ireland International football manager Mick McCarthy.
And about 50km in to the journey, just before he was due to take a well-earned lunch break, Laureus.com caught up with Mick, who was joining the ride up to Dover, to talk about the ride itself, football and how sport can benefit society.
Telling us about how he got involved, Mick, said: “I was at Sir Alex Ferguson’s [25th anniversary at Manchester United] dinner and I met [Michael] Vaughan. He told me more about Laureus, I thought it was brilliant and now I’m here.
“It’s been great, the camaraderie amongst everyone, it’s been great so far.”
But having recently returned from commentating in Poland during the Euro 2012 football championship, what were his thoughts on the tournament in Poland and Ukraine?
“I thought it was brilliant. Poland [where he commentated] was fabulous, the stadiums were fantastic.
“The standard of football, too. Attacking play, teams wanting to win games as opposed to avoiding getting beaten. Spain were the best team and deserved to win. But there were some really good performances from Italy, Greece and Portugal.”
But does he think this victorious Spain team, having won their third major trophy on the run, are the best of all time? Mick told us: “I saw the Brazilian team of the 1970’s, the team they compare this Spain team too, but I haven’t seen a team that has done as much as Spain has. I think you could call them the best.”
Starting off from the outskirts of London, the group were lucky enough to enjoy some beautiful conditions as they ventured through English countryside before hitting the white cliffs of Dover.
And after three days of taking in the French countryside, not to mention a significant number of tea breaks, they arrived at their destination in, Reims, the historic home of champagne.
Having started his first charity fundraiser for Laureus, Mick told us how he shares the same Sport for Good beliefs.
“There’s no doubt [sport] has a huge effect. We’re all impressed by athletes and this can help. It doesn’t surprise me one bit to see people inspired by sport and sportspeople.”
If you would like to contribute to Mick’s fundraising total, please visit: http://www.justgiving.com/MickMcCarthyLondon2Dover
This article was amended to correct that Mick was Republic of Ireland manager, not Northern Ireland manager