OXFORD UNITED legend James Constable has called on fans to get behind a 500mile bike ride in memory of one little boy from Oxfordshire.

The passionate plea comes from the former U's player, known as Beano, after he signed up to power through 200 miles in honour of baby boy Oscar Cole.

The one-year-old died of a brain injury on June 19, 2014, having contracted Encephalitis, a rare condition that causes inflammation of the brain.

This year marks five years on from the youngster's sudden passing and bereaved parents David and Hannah Cole, from Kirtlington near Bicester, want to mark the anniversary with a major fundraiser.

Sports fans are being called on to join the #TOO500 to take part or support the 500-mile bike ride, comprising of five 100-mile legs, for the charity Thinking of Oscar.

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The most recent recruit, and United's all-time second highest goal scorer, James Constable will saddle up with cyclists and take on the route touring several children's hospitals across the country.

Mr Constable said his own family's experience with children's hospitals has inspired his support after his daughter Mollie was born with a rare condition affecting her eyes.

Speaking to the Oxford Mail previously he described the specialist treatment Mollie had received from Great Ormond Street Hospital and that she was doing really well after having a corneal transplant.

He says it is that experience which spurred him on to support such a 'wonderful' cause.

The legend has opted for two legs of the gruelling fundraisers, alongside Oxford United in the Community trustee Stuart Bradney who is taking part in all five days of the #TOO500.

It is hoped the event will raise £500,000 to go towards bettering children's hospital care in the UK.

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The former Oxford United player, who is also now an Oxford United in the Community charity trustee patron, said: "I had no hesitation in taking part in #TOO500, it’s a wonderful charity and such an important cause.

"At Oxford United in the Community we’re doing all we can to support Thinking of Oscar.

"My family has learnt first-hand just how important children’s hospitals are. It’s only when you need them do you really appreciate how dedicated the staff are and what a fantastic job, they do at hospitals all over the UK.

"The staff at Great Ormond Street have been unbelievable to us in caring for Mollie and I’m grateful to have this opportunity to give something back. Thinking of Oscar is such an important cause and I’d encourage as many people as possible to help out and give what you can afford to help us improve child health care in the UK."

The #TOO500 event will set off from Oxford Children’s Hospital on June 12, and along the way visits major children's hospitals in Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and London, culminating with the big finale at Blenheim Palace.

Oscar's dad, Mr Cole, previously said: "I’m sure it will be an emotional moment as we turn into the estate and pedal up that endless drive towards the house. #TOO500 will test us in many ways, but we want to make a real difference to children’s health."

Mrs Cole added: "The support of James and Oxford United in the Community for #TOO500 is fantastic. Sign ups for the event are taking shape and the more people that take part and support #TOO500 via Just Giving the more can be done to improve outcomes in child health in the UK."

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The pair set up the charity Thinking of Oscar soon after the youngster passed away and have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds in his memory. The charity's fifth anniversary hopes to bring together all their fundraising efforts to hit the latest appeal's £500,000 target. In recent years the charity has helped implement and support a host of hospital projects including funding vital vein finder devices.

These machines illuminate the veins in young children making it easier for medical staff to take blood samples etc whilst reducing stress for the youngsters.

Oxford United in the Community head of operations Chris Lowes said: "The two charities have formed a close partnership, and both share a passion for improving the lives of children.

"James and Stuart are really stepping up to back #TOO500 and support improvement in child health. We wish them both all the best and hope the United family clubs together to support them and Thinking of Oscar."

To register to take part in the #TOO500 go to


or to sponsor James Constable go to