Three former Blues have been going to extraordinary lengths to raise funds for the NHS…

While Joe Cole, Wayne Bridge and Steve Sidwell are no strangers to putting in the hard graft ahead of the start of a new football season, the recently-retired trio found themselves clocking the miles in a slightly more gruelling fashion over the weekend in a collective effort to raise funds for the NHS.

Cole’s 11 Foundation was set up with his wife Carly to create unique collaborations in order to provide support and funding to help tackle some of society’s most pressing issues. Recent initiatives have responded to the global coronavirus pandemic, with a particular focus on highlighting mental health issues and cases of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) experienced by NHS staff.

The Construction Tour de Cornwall challenged the former Blues to cycle over 200 miles over three days across the entire Cornish peninsula, over varied terrain that tested both their physical and mental strength.

The ride started in Penzance and took in the famous Land’s End before culminating in Plymouth, with the current fundraising total approaching £50,000.

It is not the first time this year that Cole and Bridge have teamed up to complete an incredible fundraising challenge. In July, the pair climbed the formidable Mont Blanc to raise more money for the 11 Foundation, while Cole has also kayaked across the English Channel and completed the Three Peaks Challenge with Carly since founding the foundation.

He has set himself the task of undertaking 11 such brutal challenges to aid the causes supported by the 11 Foundation.

‘Whilst some NHS staff will process the impact of Covid-19 over time, many are suffering with bereavement, heightened anxiety, stress and fatigue,’ Cole explained.

‘Our initiatives on behalf of the NHS address the physical and psychological symptoms of stress and trauma connected to working life in a busy hospital, particularly during a time of crisis, and we want to lend a hand and support where we can.’

You can donate to the cause here. All proceeds go to the NHS.