Monday, 2 June 2008
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
We are still counting money and think we're going to break the £7,000 barrier so why not aim for £10,000 by September eh?
Friday, 11 April 2008
Thursday, 3 April 2008
We're gonna miss the old girl but it's quite fitting that she's always going to be in Istanbul.
Tuesday, 1 April 2008
We cautiously approached the first checkpoint as the customs officers came out of the building looking in disbelief at the taxi. After being ordered to get out of the taxi and a few tense moments of the border police circulating we realised that they were more interested in posing for photos at the wheel wearing Dave's sunglasses!! We thought we'd made it through but it took another hour to proceed through two more checkpoints after buying additional insurance and visas but we'd made it!!
We weaved out way through the Turkish countryside and arrived in the bright lights of Istanbul and parked up near the famous blue mosque. Through the Salzburg snow, getting jump started in Germany and the nightmare of Romania we've finally done it and reached Istanbul! We had a beer in the hostel and stared at eachother in disbelief at the journey we've had. Thank you for all your support and now it's time to try and beat the meter reading...
Meter Cost: £5,334
Sunday, 30 March 2008
We finally find a petrol station to fill up but there are groups of stray dogs following the taxi, we wonder if we'll ever get out of this country and pray that we don't brake down. Luckily we reach motorway and the roads improve, we navigate through Bucharest centre at around 6 in the morning and finally reach the Bulgarian border at half ten in the morning having set off from Budapest 24 hrs earlier!!
The border is much less busy and we have no trouble getting in - unbelievable considering Betty is now held together by string and gaffer tape!
We drive down the Bulgarian coast (realising on the way that noding your head means no and shaking it means yes!!) and reach Burgas in the afternoon. What a drive! Tanya who works at the hostel gets us some soup and omelette to eat and listens to how we set off from Hungary 30 hours ago and didn't stop in Romania! The worst part of the journey is over and it's next stop Istanbul!!
Meter Cost: £4,842
We knew it would be a long slog getting from Budapest to Bucharest but nothing could prepare us for what turned out to be a 30 hour marathon drive after some hairy moments in Romania. We approached the border and the fun and games started - after getting through passport control we had to buy a permit to drive on the roads and we soon realised that the taxi was attracting a lot more attention than we hoped as a group of gypsies stop us and demand money as we're paying for our permit. The Romanian Police seemed to turn a blind eye as we slammed the doors and hit the gas all looking a bit scared to say the least.
As we ventured further into Romania we realised the truly attrocious road conditions that people had warned us about. We were in a desolate area with only wooden shacks and horse and carts for company - if we were to break down here there would be serious trouble and we had given up on the Sat Nav and so were navigating from the road signs. It didn't take long for us to decide that we should drive into the night taking it in turns to drive Betty out of Romania for our own safety and pray that we didn't experience any difficulties.
However, as Paul was driving along one of the awful roads, a huge pothole made the bonnet pop up in front of the windscreen so we couldn't see a thing!! Paul thought quickly and stuck his head out of the window before guiding Betty onto the hard shoulder (which is also used for overtaking in Romania). This happened 3 times before we eventually had to tie it down with some gaffer tape, string from our Dare 2 B hoodies and some tow rope!! The nightmare of Romania continued as we drove up steep mountains into the night with the road conditions deteriorating we realised this journey would take some time and we were running out of Diesel.
Friday, 28 March 2008
We went for a bit of breakfast before coming back to the hostel to meet Andrew who owned the hostel. We had a chat with him for some Budapest newspaper articles and he kindly said that he would also do an article for the backpackers magazine in Budapest. We also took some photos outside our hostel (Domino Hostel) which we'll put online when we get the laptop up and running again!
We then took a stroll around Budapest and took in the market, the thermal baths, which we enjoyed in our dare 2 b capri shorts! We strolled over the bridge and took in the parliament buildings and had some goulash for dinner. As we enjoyed a pint of "Bit Burger" in the 'For Sale' pub we overheard a familiar accent and realised that 8 guys and girls from Crosby had walked in - we got chatting and found out they had read about our trip in the Liverpool Echo! Thanks to Tom, Bernadette, Jeremy and the rest of the gang for a great night out - we'll add the photos when we get back home so keep checking back.
Long drive tomorrow to Bucharest, we've been told that the roads get rather interesting as you leave Hungary, so we're looking forward to that adventure!
We soldiered on through the Hungarian border (buying a permit on the way!) getting increasingly funny looks. We crossed the Danube and drove along side it for a while before hitting the lights of Budapest.
As we drove over the main bridge over the river we were impressed by the vibrancy and architecture of the city. Using the good old paper map, we found our way via a scenic route to the hostel and checked in for the night. We popped out to get some Florints and some food before hitting the hay.
Meter cost £3,054
Had a spot of Wiener Schnitzel for dinner, and then handed out some leaflets and talked to the people in the hostel bar and common room.
Wednesday, 26 March 2008
We stopped off at a Service Station along the way for a rest and the biggest sandwiches in the world but we forgot to switch Betty's lights off and Pilky was too preoccupied making a snowman on the bonnet to notice. We turn the key over and the battery is flat!!
Luckily a kind German guy jump starts us and we're on our way. On the way to Salzburg we pass the thousand mile mark and enter snow 4 inches deep, after snow ball fighting and a night out in Salzburg centre we hit the sack.
Meter Cost £2,134
Tuesday, 25 March 2008
We are greeted by a snow storm and truly atrocious driving conditions, we also find out that Salzburg (next stop after Frankfurt) is one of Austria's ski resorts and is in ski season. A quick check reveals that our wardrobe consists of t-shirts and a few pairs of jeans!
We arrive in Frankfurt and head straight to the bar. We spot a guitar and a pair of bongos hanging on the wall - after a few massive bottles of Becks we launch into a rendition of Wonderwall and then some Pilky freestyling.
Can't upload any photos at the moment but there wil be more to follow. Off to Salzburg tomorrow - could be interesting.
Meter Cost £1,632
Got to the ferry port with a few minutes to spare and loaded Betty on after some tight manouvering. We got on just in time to get a comfy seat and watch the start of the Arsenal game in what we thought was the ideal location until we were thrown out by security as it turned out to be a childs play room - we wondered why we were getting funny looks from concerned parents!
Docked into France only to be greeted by 3 inches of snow but we weren't too worried as we had our trusty sat nav - or so we thought. It turned out that Pilkys laptop was on low battery after playing Champ Man on the ferry. With 2 minutes to go until the European maps were downloaded onto the sat nav, the laptop decided to call it a day and switch off so we had to get to Brussels old school with our paper map.
Mileage - 497
Meter cost - £ 994
Saturday, 22 March 2008
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
After months and months of preparation we are finally setting off on our journey to Istanbul on Friday! We'll be setting off around 2 o'clock from the Clock Tower - we'd really appreciate it if you could make it down before then to show your support as a few newspapers and Granada TV are covering the event. Our main sponsor Big D peanuts will also be present to give us a special send off!!
We hope to see you there!
Monday, 17 March 2008
Hungover on Saturday, we headed into Ormskirk Town Centre for a fry up at "Kath's Butty Van" where generous staff gave us a ten pound donation! Then it was off to Colin's garage to fit the radio and sound system to Betty, well actually it was up to Lee(http://www.hondapants.com) to do all the hard work while we, once again, supped on a brew!
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
Friday, 29 February 2008
An invite to all OBR supporters to an exclusive party at Revolution Vodka Bar in Preston!!
The party has been organised by the OBR Team to thank the people who have helped them through the past few tough months of planning, emailing, ringing, sponsoring, driving, welding....!!
As a result, its going to be a FANTASTIC party and many thanks goes to the team at Revolution Preston for helping organise the whole event, have a look at their website for details on what other great events they host:
There will be:
* A vast array of cocktails, and I believe every alcoholic drink under the sun!!
* A Vodka Ice-Luge - an ice sculpture which will have vodka poured down it!!
* Our own private room and DJ.
* One Ball Rally-themed decorations all over!
If you want to be part of the action, we have to insist that you accept the invite we have sent so that the bouncers on the door will let you into the party arena :-) If you want to bring people who are not part of the OBR Facebook group, firstly ask why the hell aren't they?...and secondly, send us an email and we can add you to the list, or get them to request an invite! Feel free to invite as many friends as you want, the more the merrier!
So, go and spread the word, get your friends involved and make it a great night out and hope to see you there!!
The OBR Team
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
Friday, 8 February 2008
Thursday, 7 February 2008
That's right everyone, as you can see we now have the Taxi which will take us on our merry way to Istanbul!
It has always been the main item of the trip and one which has taken the most effort in organising, as we couldn't afford the taxi with the funds we have together so a bit of fundraising was needed, which resulted in £170 being raised from the Ebay sales listed below!!
So we had roughly £700, with money coming from the 'Jingle Balls Quiz' which took place at Edge Hill University and also the Ebay sales, but a lot of taxi's were going for well over the £1000 mark so spirits were low as the start date of the One Ball Rally grew ever closer....
BUT THEN!! a chance browse of Ebay resulted in a taxi being located nearby in Lytham St Annes, MOT and Tax'd and looked exactly what we were after. I had a feeling, don't ask me what, but a feeling that we had waited for the right taxi and here it was!
We knew we had to act fast and a message was sent to Sean, the owner, telling him all about the event and why we were buying the taxi and then we had to wait for his reply.....
7 hours later we had the reply....he was more than happy to support OBR, thought it was a fantastic event and would do a deal for £700 straight up!!!! OBR HAD WHEELS!!!
Money changed hands on the Saturday, and then we had to test the taxi out so what better way than a trip to Oxford to show off to fellow One Ball Rallyer, Paul Ashton.
It was a 450 mile round trip and she took it like a dream.
Now all we need is a name and if you look over to the left, you can help us out in this department...
Thanks for all your support and don't forget to get in touch if you can help in any way possible.
One Ball Rally.
Thursday, 17 January 2008
As Christmas fades into the distance and the time of giving presents to loved ones, or even indulge in a bit of retail theraphy, appears to be fading into a memory, NEVER FEAR! because OBR has some absolutely amazing Ebay auctions for you to bid on and best of all, all the money will go to purchasing the taxi for the trip at the beginning of February.
So, here is the list of auctions, so if one catches your eye then all you need to do is click on it and bid (provided you have an Ebay account, if you don't it takes a mere 2 minutes before you are bidding away)
Some security measures to note before you bid:
> Official OBR lots will all have the OBR logo on them.
If you cannot see the logo, do not bid.
> My Ebay username is Lancsmaestro, if this is not the username on the auction you
bidding on, then it is NOT an OBR lot.
> These have not been listed as Charity lots as we would not get the money for the taxi, it would go straight to the charity. A total will be kept and all winning bidders will have their names up in lights on the blog, and also their names written on the taxi!! Nice!
OK, so here are the Lots and good luck!
1) LONG WAY DOWN BOOK - SIGNED BY CHARLEY BOORMAN!!
2)BBC COMEDY 'THICK OF IT' SCRIPTS - SIGNED BY WRITER, PRODUCER AND ACTORS PLUS DRAWING BY 'MALCOLM TUCKER'
3) 2007 MIDDLESBROUGH FC SIGNED SHIRT - 10 SIGNATURES FROM FIRST TEAM PLAYERS
4) 3 X HUGE AUTOGLYM CAR VALETING GIFTSETS
5) 2 X POLISHED PERFECTION AUTOGLYM GIFTSETS
6) AUTOGLYM AQUA WAX, A FANTASTIC NEW PRODUCT FROM AUTOGLYM
So there you go, a huge thank you to all our sponsors in providing us with these products and bid away people, the more money you spend, the better the taxi we get!! :-)
The OBR Team
Thursday, 10 January 2008
The New Year has started well (it cannot get any worse than last year!) and we can now focus back on the One Ball Rally and spreading the word far and wide across the world.
Support for OBR is strong as ever but over the festive period, it has taken a back-seat in many people's minds, myself included, and I've had many people asking me what was the event about and how was it going so I thought a 2008 Review was in order.
My name is Dave Cook, I am 24 and live in Ormskirk, Lancashire. I work for Lancashire Museums in a varied role and really enjoy my work.
Last year, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer about the end of February after the removal of a cyst and also one of my balls, which has been replaced by a prosthetic implant which tingles sometimes like a personal 'Spidey Sense'.
I underwent 9 weeks of Hell, a.k.a Chemotherapy and for all its evils, this treatment surely does the trick.
I now have checks every 3 months to make sure that any tiny bits of cancerous tissue do not start to spread and thankfully, they have been blasted to nothing :-)
The OBR team is varied and stronger for it. I have a much more detailed bio of the team somewhere so if you are unfortunately reading this in its current form, I apologise and come back tomorrow for some interesting facts about the lads.
In the meantime, there is Ad Bell, Paul Ashton and Martin Pilkington and myself all embarking on a gruelling challenge of wits, determination and probably D-I-Y car repairs as we attempt to finish the One Ball Rally!!
The One Ball Rally is a fantastic journey and will take us through most of Europe to reach our ultimate destination; Istanbul.
If you scroll down the blog you will find a Google Map which highlights the route we will be taking and we aim to kick-off from ORMSKIRK on the 21ST MARCH 2008.
A full itinerary can be found in the calendar below, scroll to March 21st 2008.
So, its a fantastic event, as you already know, and its about ot get a whole lot better! I aim to get regular with my posts, we have lots of behind the scenes work going on as we speak and you will find that January 2008 is the month that One Ball Rally really grows some balls!!
Remember: get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring me on 07742260942 AND dip into your Christmas money and throw a few quid to One Ball Rally by donating at
Friday, 21 December 2007
We're getting closer and closer to our target for buying the taxi so thanks to all involved! If you can contribute to the taxi fund in any way please get in contact via the email address (email@example.com) you're help is really appreciated!
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
in your workplace, school, Uni, etc, etc.....
You can now download an official OBR Fundraising Poster from HERE which you can print off as many times as you want and really spread the word about the One Ball Rally to a whole host of people!!
The poster, superbly designed by Sam Gerrard at Shore Creative, includes a link to this site if people want more information and also includes an address at the bottom if anyone wants to donate direct to AICR via cheque.
Please print off as many as you can and distribute as freely as you like as it will be sure to increase our donations no end!
Also, please be aware that our web address is now HTTP://WWW.ONEBALLRALLY.ORG which is a lot easier to remember than previously!
Thursday, 22 November 2007
1) Join the One Ball Rally Facebook Group
If you are a member of Facebook, then click on the following link and join up!
JOIN OBR HERE AND DON'T FORGET TO INVITE YOUR FRIENDS!
It really helps get businesses on board when we show the 'public' support for the Rally so join up and invite all your friends too!!
2) Get in touch!
Want to help us complete the Rally? Then we need your help raising funding for the taxi, parts and fuel costs so if you can help IN ANY POSSIBLE WAY then get in touch!
P: 07742260942/01695 579605
3) Donate to AICR/Everyman
Our goal is to raise as much money as possible for the sufferers of cancer so if you would like to sponsor the One Ball Rally team then you can do so, online and 100% secure at
If you prefer cheque, then please make it payable to 'AICR' and post it to
One Ball Rally
Tuesday, 20 November 2007
We have raised a great £1200 so far through but need a lot more to help everybody going through chemotheraphy, radiotheraphy etc so please donate, even if it is £5!!
In the next few weeks we will be listing a number of signed items on Ebay which have been donated from football clubs and television actors so keep checking back for updates on when these will be listed. All money raised will go straight to AICR.
However, if you live in Ormskirk then don't forget to pick up this week's (22/11/07) Ormskirk Advertiser which will have a full story on the One Ball Rally, complete with cheesy photos! It will be an ideal chance for you to spread the word of the One Ball Rally to work and family members so on Thursday, don't forget to pick up two copies of the Addy and post one story in work and take one home for the family.
Don't worry if you don't live in Ormskirk, I will post a link to the Ormskirk Advertiser website which will run the story for a week!
I would also just like to thank all the companies who have helped us with the creation of the One Ball Rally so far, and if you get chance, pay them a visit online as it will count as a visit and will help these companies who have helped us:
> Shore Creative Graphic Design
> New Drift Media Web Design
> Endsleigh Car Insurance
> Barclays Breakdown Cover
> F1 Graphics
> VGL Banner Design
Remember, if you want to get involved then simply email us at
Tuesday, 2 October 2007
The actual recording of the bulletin was a fantastic laugh and was a brillaint experience. It also brought the One Ball Rally right into the public domain for the first time which is also fantastic news.
Monday, 3 September 2007
Visit www.justgiving.com/oneballrally and help raise as much as possible to aid those people undergoing the trauma of chemotheraphy and other cancer treatments.
Trust me, it really does help!!
Thanks very much,
The OBR Team
Wednesday, 29 August 2007
After a very early start to get on the Breakfast Show for Radio Lancashire, the One Ball Rally Team is now gearing up for a television appearance on Friday so its all action stations!!
I will attempt to get the audio hosted on here from the interview so if you missed it, you can listen again!
Because of all the media interest and the introduction of a number of 'big' sponsors, as well as feasibility issues, the One Ball Rally has finally emerged as a definite and coherent plan to raise money for the Assoc. of International Cancer Research & Everyman Testicualar Cancer.
The New (& Final!) Plan for OBR is as follows:
The route will now go from Ormskirk (my home-town!) and Istanbul, departing on the 21st march 2008.
The route will take in the following towns and cities:
This amounts to a trip of 2350 miles and it will be carried out in a London Taxi!
That's right, a classic London Taxi as car firms will not allow the required amount of lee-way in regards to decorating the car and getting our sponsors on the vehicle so as a group, we decided to get the comedy element of the One Ball Rally starting with the vehicle!
The Taxi will then be auctioned off in Istanbul and all proceeds will go to the two Cancer charities so more money can be raised!!
So, we are now appealing, imagine pleading on hands and knees, for help in three key areas if you own your business or work for a large company:
- Funds for the purchase of the Taxi. (total being £1000)
- Funds for the purchase of food (approx £500)
- Funds for accomodation on route (again, £500)
I know someone out there can help, and if you want to help in any other way at all, then please email on our new email address which is ONEBALLRALLY@HOTMAIL.CO.UK
Thanks for supporting and the donations service will be up & running very shortly!!
Friday, 24 August 2007
Thanks to Angela Banh at Regtransfers.co.uk for helping us with the selection of the plate and putting up with my constant requests for help.
I hope you all like X GONAD as much as we do and it is sure to bring a smile to most people I think!
More news will follow the Bank Holiday so keep checking the blog....
TELL YOUR FRIENDS!!
Tuesday, 21 August 2007
Friday 31st, Granada television are filming an interview with One Ball Rally participants for a news slot hopefully for the same day.
Don't forget to tune in and if you are in Ormskirk on that day, pop down to Farrington Drive for 10 'o clock for a sneaky television appearance!!
Thanks for all your support everyone!
Thursday, 16 August 2007
Regtransfers.com have donated a personalised numberplate for the One Ball Rally!
The actual plate is yet to be decided as there is such a huge choice but as soon as that decision is made then I will be the first to let you know.
You can help if you want, visit the Regtransfers website (http://www.regtransfers.co.uk) and search for any numberplates which you think would suit the OBR vehicle. Let me know through the Topic "Number Plate Ideas" on the OBR Facebook group http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=3284439225 and I will pass on the best ideas to Regtransfers and we will see who is the winner!
In further news, a Premiership club has kindly donated a signed shirt by the first team and manager for a charity auction when the website is up and running. I will keep the club a secret until the site is up & running but its another sign of how popular the OBR is becoming!!
Thanks for all your help and kind messages and keep spreading the word!
Friday, 10 August 2007
With the event spreading like wildfire through the Internet and word-of-mouth, people have been writing to me asking exactly what is the OBR and what is it all about?
So I'm just going to quickly list why, what, where, who for all the One Ball Rally objectives so everyone knows what its all about!!
Remember, tell your Facebook/Facebook/Bebo friends about this international event (We've had web-hits from Brazil!) and spread the word --> The OneBall rolls on.....!!!!
1)My name is David Cook. I am 23 and have just recovered from testicular & stomach cancer, which was a bit of a nuisance to be honest.
2)Myself & 4 friends who supported me through it all (cheers guys, you're the best mates!) are driving next year from Preston, UK to Baku, Azerbaijan over the course of two/three weeks.
3)The event is provisionally planned for late April next year but is subject to change.
4)It is raising money for both Everyman Testicular Cancer Research & Assoc. of International Cancer Research as both charities helped my family and me through tough times.
5) We have a super logo from Shore Design Studio and also, in a few weeks, will have a brand spanking new website at http://www.oneballrally.org/
6) We have interviews planned with SKY News, GM:TV, Regional BBC News and also interviews planned with various natioanl newspapers for when the website is up and running.
7)The Rally will be stopping at various cities throughout Europe to raise even more money for the charities!
Think that may be it but any more questions/offers of support then let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks, and don't forget to tell your friends!
Monday, 6 August 2007
The OBR Team are overjoyed with the response that's come from people visiting the blog and remember -->If you're from Facebook, INVITE YOUR FRIENDS!!! It'll probably take you about five mins but someone somewhere is rigged up to a chemotheraphy drip for a few hours so its a small sacrifice I think.
The email below is one I have received today from AICR;
We have just learned that David Tennant (Dr Who) is coming on board as a celebrity patron for AICR. His agent says he is busy at present, however once filming of the Christmas special finishes he hopes to do a good bit of work for us. I am thinking of having him meet you at an appropriate point on your travels so that the media can be involved. I hope that is ok with you. GMTV and SKY news say they may be interested in covering the rally when you set off.
Do you get The Sunday Post in England? It’s mainly a Scottish Sunday paper but seems to have a very large following? They seem pretty keen to do an interview and story about you. Are you interested?
Dr Who? On the One Ball Rally? You know it sounds so crazy it could work but seriously, that's really great news publicity wise and if anyone has family members who work for companies who may want to get involved then drop me a call 07742260942.
Take care & I'll write again soon.
Friday, 27 July 2007
The group of lads who are participating in the event are meeting this weekend to confirm the route and date of the event which will then be set in stone as there has been slight fluctuation over the months which is quite understandably considering the size of the challenge and I would rather have changes now than later down the road. (No pun intended)
We are raising money for specifically two charities which have both helped me during chemotherapy and these are Everyman www.icr.ac.uk/everyman/ and the Association for International Cancer Research www.aicr.org.uk/
These charities are really helping us in raising the profile of the OBR with help in the following ways;
Everyman: Are working on getting us celebrity involvement, which would be excellent!.
Assoc. of International Cancer Research: Through the PR officer of AICR, we have been attempting to get interest from both the Daily Mail and Daily Express concerning the One-Ball Rally. Also, Lorraine Kelly is patron of AICR so a possible slot on GM:TV has also been cited as a possibility.
Through our own work, we have interest from The Sun national newspaper so hopefully when it is closer to the start of the rally we will have a large, national presence so that as much money as possible is going to be raised, which is what its all about!!
We have a logo! It’s an absolute cracker and I’d like to thank Sam Gerrard from Shore Creative for all his hard work and continued help in the project. Check out his work and projects at www.shorecreative.co.uk
We also have recently gained the support of a top web-design firm Catch My Drift www.catchmydrift.com who are busy designing a brilliant website so I will post the link when the site is up & running. Visit their site to see examples of how the OBR site might look!
Any ideas/offers of support then please forward them on to email@example.com
I’ll keep you posted!!
Monday, 2 July 2007
I have now returned to work and I am determined to do something to raise money for the nurses and consultants who helped me so much at the Clatterbridge Oncology Unit. So, I have the pleasure to announce "The OneBall Rally!"
This is going to be an epic two-week trip from Preston to Baku, in Azerbaijan which is the furthest straight drive through Europe you can get. It is going to be brilliant and will be around the April 2008 period.
There are two options which are now being pursued to achieve this aim:
1) Ask for a car off a sponsor
2) Buy a car for the minimum amount possible which has to get to bloody Baku and also be comedy (i.e no boring old Mercedes).
I'll let you know how that goes but just thought a blog for Team OneBall needed to get started somewhere, somehow......