Former ref George Salmond won’t be stumped by marathon charity bike ride

A fORMER top-flight ­football referee and ­Scotland cricket captain is getting on his bike for charity. George Salmond, who took charge of nearly 200 matches across Scotland and represented his country at the Commonwealth Games and Cricket World Cup, is pedalling from Myreside to Lord’s cricket ground in London in aid of Sporting Start.

Thursday, 27th June 2019, 2:46 pm

Superfit George, 49, from North ­Berwick, will be joined by work ­colleague Alasdair MacDonell on the 500-mile cycle, which gots under way on Wednesday.

George is head of junior school at George Watson’s College, and Alasdair is a depute headteacher.

Sporting Start was founded in ­memory of Martin Macari, a keen sportsman and friend who died from cancer in 2017, aged 47.

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The charity aims to help individuals and groups who face financial or other barriers which limit their opportunity to access or participate in sport.

George, who used to play cricket against Martin, said before setting off: “We are really excited about it. I love a challenge and it is just something different.

“We are both determined that we are going to enjoy it.

“It is also brilliant that Martin’s son Max designed the cycling top that we will be wearing on the way as we head southwards.

“Although there could be some tough days, myself and Alasdair are definitely up for this challenge.”

He added: “Martin was a former pupil of the school and I used to play cricket against him in the late 1980s/early 1990s. He was a stalwart of George Watson’s rugby and cricket and was a very fit guy.

“Unfortunately, two years past in February, he died from cancer. His ­children still attend the school and his wife and other family members and friends set up the charity, which is really to allow youngsters, who maybe do not have access to coaching or cannot afford a pair of football boots, to get access to sport.”

Ex-Scotland rugby captain and former North Berwick RFC head coach Jason White, who is now head of sport at Loretto School in Musselburgh, was Martin’s flat-mate when they were younger and is now a trustee of the charity.

George and Alasdair set off from Myreside before stopping at North Berwick.

From there, they headed over the ­Border to Alnwick before continuing south, hoping to finally reach Lord’s at the beginning of July.

It is a venue that is well known to George, who made 146 appearances for Scotland’s cricket team, including at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur and at the Cricket World Cup in England the following year.

To support the pair in their cycling endeavours you can donate cash at goldengiving.com/fundraising/myreside2lords