Norwich City Football Club are delighted to welcome Chris Hamlin and Mark Colman as the first Community Heroes of the 2017-18 season for Sunday's game against Sunderland.
Both men have raised money for charity after recently completing a 1,000 mile cycle ride across Europe in just seven days.
Chris, 38, from Norwich has raised £3,500.51 for a charity very close to his heart - the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) where his two-year-old son James was treated for a condition known as a viral induced wheeze, which causes breathing difficulties when a child picks up a virus.
In James’ case this meant that every time he got a cold, he’d start coughing and within 24 hours he’d be having breathing difficulties.
"Without the services of the N&N, the Jenny Lind ward and all the amazing nurses, doctors and support staff, James wouldn’t have survived," Chris told canaries.co.uk.
"They’ve saved James’ life on several occasions and ‘thank you’ just didn’t seem enough. My wife and I decided that raising funds for new equipment would be a good idea as it could take some strain off the staff and help other families like us avoid some pain."
Chris runs his own business making carbon racewheels, so a cycling challenge was the perfect way to raise money.
"I started looking at how many countries I could theoretically visit in a week," he explained.
"One thing led to another and I finally decided that it might be possible to cycle
to London, Paris, Luxembourg, Brussels and Amsterdam, before ending back at the NNUH in seven days. We called it the 5Captals ride."
Chris wasn’t alone in the 1,000-mile journey, as he was joined by his friend Mark, 37.
Their challenge lasted seven days and included a total of 58 hours of cycling. They started at 6am on June 22 from the Jenny Lind ward and returned there
at 2pm on June 28.
"We had hoped to raise £5,000 to buy some new Vapotherm units for the Jenny
Lind that will help them to treat breathing conditions, but we sadly fell short of that total,” Chris said.
"If anyone can help us get to this magic total by donating even £1 to this amazing cause, it will be a really big help and you’ll be saving lives!"
If you wish to donate to Chris’ fundraising page, please visit: www.justgiving.com/auwheels or contact them directly at www.auwheels.com.
Please give Chris and Mark a big Carrow Road welcome on Sunday when they bring out the matchball ahead of kick-off.
At every Sky Bet Championship home match, Norwich City will invite a deserving community-minded individual(s) to be their ‘Community Hero’ and place the match ball on to a special plinth prior to kick-off.
Whether the individual works in the emergency services or the armed forces, is a carer or charity champion, a super fan or a regional sporting hero, the initiative celebrates their contribution to the local community.
If there is anyone you think deserves special recognition for their community
efforts or personal achievements, please contact the Club via firstname.lastname@example.org.