Events: Interview

DGR team ethic will bring biggest win

Sports and screen stars unite to shout about men’s health

Football legend Ian Wright believes the powerful team ethic brought to life in Distinguished Gentleman’s Rides around the world will one day clinch the most memorable win of all.

The former England and Arsenal striker was ahead of the game on his Triumph Bobber as hundreds of modern classic riders snaked their way past waving tourists lining London’s streets.

Wright, who also owns a customised Scrambler complete with his trademark number 8 on the front board, says: “I’ve always been involved in team sports and the force of many people working together is incredibly powerful.”

Opening conversations

“To see so many men, women and children waving and cheering as we rode by means they will ask questions about why we were there. If that starts conversations about men’s health, then we’re taking steps to fight the conditions that are destroying lives every day.”

Wright insists Triumph’s involvement is critical to saving lives.

“Prostate cancer and mental health can hit any of us and are totally indiscriminate in who they affect, but as a team with a shared passion we are so much stronger to fight them,” he says.

“The DGR is a one-day event but men’s health is a year-round issue, so the fundraising can’t stop just because the ride is over. We have to stick together because the next penny that is raised could make the difference.”

Movember ambassador Ben Bowers interviews Ian Wright

Togetherness and camaraderie

Wright was joined on the English capital ride out by actor Darren Boyd, star of the dark comedy thriller Killing Eve that’s gaining cult status in the UK and who also starred in Triumph rider Idris Elba’s award-winning Luther.

Boyd says: “The contrast between the togetherness and camaraderie of DGR and the isolation of suffering from a condition that means men die on average six years younger than women couldn’t be more stark.

Darren Boyd of ‘Killing Eve’ enjoying the DGR atmosphere

“The collective force of people from around the world coming together with one purpose in mind ­– to raise money in a common cause ­– is an incredibly powerful thing, but it’s also been tremendously life affirming to be among so many people who care.”

Boyd, who owns a 2013 Triumph Explorer, adds: “This is not about class, status or whatever your view of fame is. It’s about nature, so to see so many people unite in something so positive is beyond beautiful.

“I’ve beaten my fundraising target and had some incredibly frank and open feedback from people. This is a cause that needs to be talked about and supported all year round to remove the taboos that exist among men when it comes to talking about their health. It’s all about starting conversations, so by having a collective voice we can be much louder. DGR, Movember and Triumph have to be applauded for the stance they are taking.”

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