Former England footballer prepares to cycle Tour de France route for Birmingham Leukaemia charity

Geoff Thomas, who played football for England and eventually captained Crystal Palace to the FA cup final in 1990 is preparing to ride the Tour de France route.

The 57-year-old began his career at clubs in the Midlands, including Notts County and Wolverhampton Wanderers, and was born in Redditch.

But in 2003, he was diagnosed with a form of leukaemia, the umbrella term given to a number of blood cancers.

He recovered and was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year two years later.

Geoff Thomas was made an MBE last year Credit: PA

He's now in the final stages of training to complete the Tour de France for Birmingham-based charity Leukaemia Cure, something he has ridden before to raise funds for the charity.

Thomas was made an MBE in June last year for services to charity in recognition of his awareness raising around cancer.

The Tour de France begins on the 1st of July and is one of the world's most recognisable sporting events. Cyclists from across the world compete across a gruelling course that takes in over 2,000 miles across 23 days.