Mad Hatter Mark's adventurous £10k campaign to reach all Luton's away games by bike

So far he has completed 16 trips and raised more than £7,500 for charity

By Lynn Hughes
Wednesday, 9th February 2022, 1:28 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th February 2022, 3:47 pm

A cycling mad Luton Town supporter has found the perfect way to merge his two passions.

Mark Crowther, who describes himself as a "Mad Hatter", has set a challenge to cycle to all the Luton Town away games in 2021/22, raising funds for charities close to his heart at the same time.

So far he has completed 16 of the 25 games, raising more than £7,500 in the process.

Mark Crowther

The money raised will go to CALMS, a national charity working on suicide prevention and raising awareness of mental health issues, Prostate Cancer UK and Keech Hospice Care.

Mark, aged 55, has struggled with his own mental health and he is also supporting Prostate Cancer UK due to Luton Town assistant manager Mick Harford's fight against the disease.

"I'm supporting Keech because it does such a lot in the community," he added.

The data analyst decided to take up the challenge during lockdowns and got into serious training six months before the first game. He cycles to the game and then gets a lift back with the Bobbers Travel Club supporters coach and expects to have covered more than 3,000 miles by the end of the season. He is aiming to raise around £10,000.

Mark at the Barnsley game earlier this season

While some journeys are closer to home, the trip to Swansea took three days, with Mark staying in B&Bs at his own expense.

"I wanted to raise awareness of the charities and this has been beyond my wildest dreams," he said. "Kenilworth Road has been like a second home to me and the way the club and the fans have supported me in this has been incredible. I never felt on my own when I was cycling, I've been getting texts and messages all the way."

Mark started his passion for Luton Town as a schoolboy and 40 years on he aims never to miss a game.

"I've done a few crazy cycling things for charity before but this has taken over my life for a year," he said. Avoiding the major routes on the way he says: "I've seen some interesting parts of the country, I've seen places I would never have got to see, it's quite an adventure."

The toughest bit has been the weather. "Managing some of the colder elements has been the hardest bit," he said. "Like having to deal with a puncture when your fingers are frozen."

He is off to Birmingham on Saturday, setting off around 7am, and then it is just eight more away games until the end of the season.

You can support Mark on JustGiving here.