Hoyland will be joined by ex-Clarets Terry Pashley, Andy Farrell, David Unsworth, Les Thompson, Craig Mawson and David Eyres on the 874 mile cycle ride from Lands End to John O'Groats.

Mike Evans, the General Manager of The Football League Trust, and a Clarets season ticket holder, will also be on the trek.

The lads will be peddling 100 miles a day as they bid to raise money for Gary's long term care.

Hoyland, now Preston's youth team coach and Parkinson's Turf Moor team-mate in the 1990s, said: "It's for Parky and we hope to raise a lot of money - the aim is to get Gary home."

Hoyland added: "It will make Gary laugh, the thought of me riding 900 miles on a bike."

Gary, who suffered a massive stroke in 2010, is battling Locked-In syndrome, a condition in which a patient is aware and awake but cannot move or communicate verbally due to complete paralysis of nearly all the voluntary muscles in the body except for the eyes.

Despite this massive disability, Gary communicates with his wife Debbie using his eyes, he has also been helping Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray by viewing scouting videos and recommending promising players.

Gary does make occasional visits home for afternoons and weekends, however the family home is not equipped for longer periods.

This is a major reason for the family setting up the Gary Parkinson Trust, to try and raise funds for his long term care and to adapt the family home to bring him home permanently.

Hoyland is urging all fans to show their generosity by kindly donating to the fund, and said: "We've all been in training for a few months now - it's a massive challenge and that's what Gary is facing in his return to health.

"Burnley Bike Centre have kindly sponsored my bike - and we'd all be grateful if all football fans could dig deep into their pockets to support this fantastic cause.

"We are hoping for massive support from the football family, and would like to specifically thank The PFA who have already made a substantial contribution towards our sponsorship total."

Alastair Campbell, the former Director of Communications for ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair, said: "Gary Parkinson is a big part of Burnley history, especially because of his Play-Off final goal and his wonderful celebration.

"He was a fantastic servant of the club which is why so many people have given their time, energy and support to him since he became so cruelly ill."

Campbell, a Burnley supporter and who is hoping to ride a leg of the cycle, added: "The bike ride is a great idea and I wish everyone all the best with it.

"There will be pain along the way but nothing to what Gary and his family have to endure, so every pedal turn and every ounce of lactic acid in the legs will be worth it."

Donations for 'LEJOG for Parky' can be made by:

Cheque payable to 'Burnley FC Former Players Association' and given to any of the riders or by post to:

LEJOG for Parky
c/o Veronica Simpson
Burnley FC FPA
Turf Moor
Burnley
Lancashire
BB10 4BX

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