A GROUP of college tutors are cycling 85 miles around North-East football stadiums for charity.

Richard Longstaff, 44, from Sunderland, has set up a team of seven tutors who set off on their bike ride yesterday (Sunday, March 23) with the aim of raising £1,500 for Sport Relief.

The group are all tutors at Darlington College.

Their journey began in West Auckland, holders of the first World Cup, and they will then travel to St James’ Park, Newcastle.

On the way, they will stop off at stadiums in Bishop Auckland, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Sunderland and Gateshead where they will be presented with a signed shirt or football from each club.

The signed gifts will then be auctioned off at the college to help raise more money for the charity.

Mr Longstaff was inspired to get back on his bike after an ankle injury because of Britain’s Tour de France successes.

He said: “With the Tour de France coming to England for the first time this year, we’re trying to do something around that, as well as raising the profile of the local football teams and putting any rivalries aside.

“There seems to be an explosion of road cycling in the area at the moment, possibly down to Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, so we’re riding on the popularity of that and hoping people will back us for Sport Relief.”

The other members of the group are fellow tutors Billy McMeekin, Ron Spears, David John, Paul Tunnicliffe, Tim Humfries and Dec Donaghy.

You can sponsor the team at my.sportrelief.com/sponsor/tour-de-stade-2014