Ipswich Town legend misses Norwich game to fulfil guest of honour at EFL Cup final

Simon Milton (left) and his Team ITFC launced their Tour of Suffolk 2017 Cycle recently. Shaun White

Simon Milton (left) and his Team ITFC launced their Tour of Suffolk 2017 Cycle recently. Shaun Whiter (centre), who, following a serious car accident, had both his legs amputated, will be completing the 150 mile cycle ride on a tailor-designed bike. Also pictured is Mick McCarthy. - Credit: Gregg Brown

There isn’t usually a downside to being a guest of honour at Wembley, and former Ipswich Town hero Simon Milton is relishing his trip there for this Sunday’s EFL Cup final between Manchester United and Southampton.

Milton will be Prostate Cancer UK’s guest of honour and will meet and greet all 22 players, and the officials, before kick-off.

It’s a reward for his work organising the TEAMITFC Cycle Challenge, which has seen the former midfielder and a whole of host of sponsors, friends and former players take part in the London to Amsterdam cycle ride for the last three years.TEAMITFC have raised £250,000 for Prostate Cancer UK and the Friends of Ipswich Town Charity in that time.

However, there is one downside, Milton will miss the Blues’ derby clash at Carrow Road!

The current Player Liaison officer at Portman Road, said: “It is an absolute honour. I told my mum that I was going and I am sure that the adverts will probably be on the TV when I’m shaking hands with the players before kick-off!

“I am gutted to be missing the derby. We are going there on a decent run of form and are back to being hard to beat.

“I did try and think ‘the game at Norwich kicks off at 12 and the game at Wembley start at 4.30pm’, but I would miss all the razzmatazz in between and all the stuff they wanted me to be involved in.

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“It will be a case of getting to London early, watching the game and, if we don’t get the right result, try and get over it quickly.”

The game between United and Southampton is the first cup final of the season, and Milton added: “I’m the one that has been invited but it is on the back of around 200 cyclists that have raised around £250,000 over the past three or four years, and the football club’s support.”

Milton, who will be joined at the EFL Cup final by John Reader from GAH – TEAMITFC’s sponsor, explained: “I’ve seen first-hand at hospital how the revenue we have raised is helping the fight against Prostate Cancer and that drives you on to keep supporting the excellent work they are doing.

“We will be going again this summer with our two day Tour of Suffolk, as well as the next London to Amsterdam ride in June.”