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Ex-Gloucester captain Pete Glanville leads charity cycle ride in support of Ed Slater

All Areas > Sport > General

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Monday, 26th February 2024, 10:00

Ed Slater Ed Slater

“When Ed announced that he had motor neurone disease it affected everyone.”

Those are the deeply moving words of Pete Glanville, a former Gloucester rugby captain, who was talking about ex-Gloucester player Ed Slater, who is now 35.

Slater, a dad of three young children who played in the second row, announced his retirement from the game in July 2022 after being diagnosed with MND.

The 4Ed campaign was set up following his diagnosis and provides support for families affected by MND, and now Glanville and a group of like-minded people, including some well-known Gloucester names from yesteryear, are lending their support to what is an incredibly worthwhile cause.

Glanville will be part of a group of 24 who will take part in a charity cycle ride from Kingsholm to Welford Road, home of Leicester Tigers, on Friday 22nd March.

They are set to leave the home of Gloucester some time between 7.30am and 8am and will arrive at Leicester’s ground ahead of the Premiership game between the two clubs that evening, a game which will kick off at 7.45pm.

Glanville will be joined on the cycle ride by former Gloucester director of rugby Dean Ryan, ex-players Lee Fortey and  Rob York, as well as Carl Hogg, Gloucester’s current Director of Academy and Development.

The group, who will cycle about 100 miles, also includes a number of Gloucester supporters as well as a dozen Leicester fans and it goes without saying that they are looking to raise as much money as possible for what is obviously a cause very close to their hearts.

MND is a condition that affects the brains and nerves causing weaknesses that get worse over time.

Former Scotland second row Doddie Weir, who died at the age of 52 in November 2022, was diagnosed with the condition in 2016 while rugby league player Rob Burrow revealed in December 2019 that he had been diagnosed with MND.

Their stories have had a profound affect on many, many people, and not just supporters of the game of rugby.

“We saw this is an opportunity to raise funds and raise awareness about MND,” said Glanville. “It’s easy not to do anything and it’s easy to just feel sorry for somebody.”

Glanville is a keen cyclist who 10 years ago rode from Land’s End to John o’ Groats. He completed that 600 miles-plus trek in nine days and was joined by ex-Gloucester players John Hawker, Mark Nicholls and Lee Fortey, raising thousands of pounds for the Gloucester Rugby Foundation along the way.

Glanville, who lives in Longlevens, is very well known in these parts. He was an aggressive blindside flanker for Gloucester back in the 1990s and was also captain for a couple of a years.

After retiring in 1999 he was Gloucester’s team manager for four years  and was also director of rugby at Cinderford, helping them into the third tier of English rugby, a place they still occupy today.

Glanville, the rugby player, would have enjoyed playing alongside Slater, a top-drawer performer who was part of a Premiership title-winning team during his seven years with Leicester.

He joined Gloucester  in 2017 and his leadership and personality, as well as his playing ability, soon established  him as a firm favourite at the club.

His fearsome tackling, outstanding work at the breakdown and excellent turn of pace, all the more impressive as he is 6ft 5in and weighed in at 18-stone, will always be remembered by the Kingsholm faithful.

He was also capped by England Saxons and was in and around the England squad without winning a cap when both Stuart Lancaster and Eddie Jones were in charge.

It goes without saying that he is held in the highest regard by everyone connected with Gloucester and Leicester rugby clubs and the two teams won’t just be competing for Premiership points when they clash next month.

That’s because they will also be contesting the Slater Cup, a trophy that has been introduced in honour of Slater and one that is now presented to the winning captain after every game between the two teams.

It is a very fitting honour.

Anyone who would like to make a donation in support of this month’s cycle ride should visit www.justgiving.com/page/4Ed-cycle-ride




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