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Players’ Cycle for Con inspired by team mate lost to brain tumour

Craig Wallace (R) and Ali Evans (L) are cycling for brain tumour research.
Craig Wallace (R) and Ali Evans (L) are cycling for brain tumour research.
©Donald Mcleod

The death of Cricket Scotland player Con de Lange to a brain tumour at the age of 38 has inspired two team mates to take on a cycling challenge to help find a cure for the disease.

Craig Wallace, aged 30, from Carnoustie, and Ali Evans, 31, from Edinburgh, will be pedalling 672 miles in seven days with the distance representing the fact that Con was the 672nd person to play for Scotland.

The pair will start in Dundee on Thursday (1 October) and their route will take them to numerous clubs and destinations across Scotland which were loved by Con. They’ll take in St Andrews, Fife, Perth, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and finish in Carnoustie. Coronavirus restrictions have meant the original plan to also visit many county grounds in England which Con knew and loved, including Northampton and Blackburn, have been scrapped.

Con died in April last year two years after he first became ill. He left a wife Claire and two children, Daisy and Rory. A talented all-rounder, Con’s professional career began in his native South Africa. He went on to play county cricket for Northamptonshire before representing Scotland internationally.

“Con was just such a proper, genuine and nice man; one of the finest gentleman I have ever met. He was always the one who would go round the dressing room, checking everyone was OK. He loved pulling pranks on us and would always have some kind of remote control spider or snake which he would leave lurking around someone’s hotel room when we were away on tour,” said Craig.

“I’m fortunate to have met him through cricket. Con represented Scotland in 2015 and took the team from strength to strength. It’s where I and so many got to see his cheeky smile, his caring attitude and most importantly his competitive nature, every day.”

Craig and Ali’s Cycle for Con has already raised £4,600 for the charity Brain Tumour Research, the only national charity in the UK singularly focused on finding a cure for brain tumours through campaigning for an increase in the national investment into research to £35 million a year, while fundraising to create a sustainable network of brain tumour research centres in the UK.

Craig added: “Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. Too many great people like Con are dying too young and that’s why we want to raise as much awareness of this disease as we can for him and his amazing family and to raise as much money as we can to help other people affected by this horrible cancer and to stop it happening in the future.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK. It also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is calling for a national annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.

Gus Mackay, Chief Executive of Cricket Scotland, said: “It is fantastic to see the cricket community come together to raise nearly £5,000 to support Craig and Ali’s #Cycle4Con challenge in honour of the late Con de Lange. Cricket Scotland is behind Craig and Ali all the way, and we can’t wait to follow along with their progress and see how much is raised for Brain Tumour Research.”  

To sponsor Craig and Ali please go to www.justgiving.com/craig-wallace4  and follow their journey on social media using #CycleforCon