Former England footballer cycles route of Tour de France for Leukaemia charity

WATCH: A special message from Geoff Thomas' former teammate and current England football manager Gareth Southgate.

Former England footballer Geoff Thomas is cycling the route of the Tour de France a week before the professionals to raise money for a national blood cancer charity.

The former Nottingham Forest, Notts County and Wolves star, who now lives in Worcestershire, was diagnosed with the blood cancer nearly 18 years ago.

At the time, he was told he'd only have 3 months to live.

Wolves' Geoff Thomas battles with Crystal Palace's Ray Houghton in May 1997 Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS/PA Images

Thomas is now riding the 3,400km route with a group of amateur cyclists with the aim of raising over £1 million for Cure Leukaemia.

The funds will be invested in the Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP), a network of specialist research nurses in 12 of the UK’s biggest hospitals.

The nurses enable patients from a catchment area of over 20 million people to access blood cancer clinical trials not currently available through the NHS.

WATCH: Geoff and the team cycle through the French mountains

Credit: Cure Leukaemia

The grueling 3-week-long challenge is due to end on Sunday July 11th.

Geoff has already doubled his own personal fundraising target - having raised over £61,000.

Nottingham Forest's Geoff Thomas (second left) gets in a header past Coventry City's Dion Dublin (left) in August 1998. Credit: Steve Mitchell/EMPICS Sport/PA Images

He told ITV News Central he's already had a number of French well-wishers come out to support him along the route:

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