A cycling Guinness World Record holder is set to visit Barking and Dagenham on his way to Wembley today (11 July).
Gordon Miller, who is leading a gruelling bike ride, The Premier League & Euro 2020 Cycling Tour, during Euro 2020, will visit Barking and Dagenham on his way to West Ham United’s London Stadium and finally Wembley.
Gordon is on his final London leg of an approximately 1,000-mile ride visiting 20 English Premier League football clubs to raise awareness of modern-day slavery and child trafficking in sport.
He will visit the east London borough, which was home to world cup winners Bobby Moore, Martin Peters and Sir Alf Ramsey, to meet leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Cllr Darren Rodwell, and young cyclists from Barking and Dagenham Cycling Club (BDCC) who will join him on his short journey to The London Stadium.
Cllr Darren Rodwell said: “It’s great to welcome Gordon to our borough, which has produced so many great footballers. He is doing a fantastic job raising awareness about the scourge of modern slavery and we’re backing him all the way to ram this important message home.”
Gordon said: “It’s fitting that we’re visiting the home borough of several of our only previous major tournament winners on the day that England play in the Euro2020 final. The backing for Ride For Freedom from Be First and BDCC demonstrates their commitment to support our mission to raise awareness, educate and forge partnerships to end modern slavery.”
Russell Coe of BDCC said: “Hopefully in some small way Barking and Dagenham Cycling Club is contributing to rid us of this evil modern slavery trade.”
There are more than 40 million women, children and men worldwide in some form of slavery on any given day, according to the Global Slavery Index. The Trafficking in Persons (TIP) 2020 Report notes that “within Europe’s soccer industry alone, it is estimated there are 15,000 human trafficking victims each year”.
Pat Hayes, Managing Director of Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration organisation, which is backing Gordon’s bike ride, said: “Sadly the misery of human trafficking is all too prevalent in a number of industries , so we’re pleased to back Gordon’s effort to highlight this problem in sport, just as we do in the construction industry.”
Miller, the Ride For Freedom team leader and a human rights advocate, said: “Many of those trafficked in sport are youths. They are lured to Europe by promises of better lives and the opportunity of trials with professional football clubs that may lead to untold riches. It’s an under-reported crime that needs a light shining on it.”
The Premier League & Euro 2020 Cycling Tour will fund-raise to develop Freewheel by Ride For Freedom. Developed in partnership with, Unseen, the national charity that runs the Modern Slavery Helpline, Freewheel empowers survivors – women, children and men – of modern day slavery to cycle.
Miller set a Guinness World Record in October 2020 when he cycled 620.5 miles around England to spell the words “end modern slavery’. The verified challenge saw him become the title holder for “the largest GPS drawing by bicycle (individual)”.