Newcastle Falcons players honor memory of sporting director killed by motor neuron disease


A pair of rugby fans have embarked on an ambitious Newcastle to Plymouth bike ride in memory of a beloved manager who died after suffering from motor neuron disease at the age of just 46.

Described as “everyone’s friend,” the world of avid rugby player and extreme skier Simon Adams was turned upside down when in 2009 he was told he was suffering from motor neuron disease (MND).

Simon, from Plymouth, lived just two years after being diagnosed with shock, but during that time refused to be intimidated by the debilitating disease, embarking on a quest to raise £ 1million for a cure.

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He has come a third of the way towards his target, but since then his friends have continued to fundraise and have now raised an impressive sum of £ 565,000 for the MND Association. Last week two of Simon’s friends, Matt Price and Mark Ward, who play at the community rugby club of which Simon was president, brought Simon’s memory back to Tyneside as they threw up an impressive cycling challenge here.

The pair have pledged to travel 850 miles in 12 days, visiting thirteen Premiership rugby clubs. They started their journey at the Newcastle Falcons home in Kingston Park last week, where they met players and shared their friend’s story. Their epic journey is set to end on Saturday.

Collecting sponsorships along the way, they will also buy signed rugby jerseys from all teams, including the Falcons, to auction them off. They hope to raise at least £ 15,000 to contribute to Simon’s £ 1million.

Matt Price and Mark Ward meet players at Newcastle Falcons as they go on tour

And they want to raise awareness of the currently incurable disease, which is expected to affect nearly a quarter of a million people living in the UK today, and the need for research to find a cure.

Mark said: “Simon was such a great personality within the rugby club and was a real inspiration to many of us. He was the first person Matt and I met during our very first practice sessions.

“He was always available to provide support and advice. He was a true club man, who gave so much time and energy to make the club a success. We all miss him dearly.

“This year we will be marking the 10th anniversary of Simon’s passing, so it looks like now is the time to do this fundraiser. Plus it’s a great opportunity to visit the Newcastle Falcons and all the other Premiership rugby clubs along the way.

Matt confessed that he “hated cycling” and got “attached” to the challenge, but added: “But I do it for Simon. Many club members have done their part to try to raise funds over the years. for years, we’re just trying to do our part.

A spokesperson for the Newcastle Falcons said it had been “a pleasure to meet the duo” and wished them “good luck” for the remainder of their trip.

Mark and Matt hope to complete their journey this week and have already raised nearly £ 7,000 for MND, the charity dedicated to “improving access to care, research and campaigns for people. living with or affected by MND “.

People can donate to the MND Association in Simon’s name at

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