He was used to going the extra mile in some heroic performances for Carlisle United.

And now popular striker Jabo Ibehre is going even further in a bid to raise much-needed funds for a mental health charity.

Ibehre, 38, is taking part in a cycle ride from London to Brighton to support the charity Mind.

The ex-frontman and his fellow cyclists have already smashed their £2,500 fundraising target and are hoping to raise as much as possible when they do the ride in May.

Ibehre, who retired last year, says he developed a passion for cycling since he hung up his boots.

He was invited by a friend to join a cycling group whose weekly rides have helped the participants’ mental health amid the anxieties of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Known as the “Chain Gang”, the group of people now plan to tackle a 80+ mile route from London to the south coast to further highlight the need for positive well-being.

Ibehre, who scored 31 goals for the Blues from 2015-7, said cycling had proved a “real saviour” to him at a time he was unable to go running because of injury.

News and Star: Ibehre was a popular player in two seasons with United (photo: Barbara Abbott)Ibehre was a popular player in two seasons with United (photo: Barbara Abbott)

He retired in December after his career came to an end following a freak knee injury which had become badly infected, after doctors discovered an opponent’s teeth had embedded in his knee.

Ibehre – known as the “Islington Assassin” by United fans – said he bought a “rusty bike for £60” last summer which he worked on and used for regular rides with friends.

“I was then invited by a friend to ride with a group of like-minded enthusiasts now known as the ‘chain gang’,” he said.

“Our chain rides have really helped to reduce anxiety and remove the worry of the current climate, by providing an inclusive environment where members can just ride on the open road and let the journey take you.

“Our mission is to encourage other males and females to pursue cycling for self-care and improved well-being.

“Health is wealth, whether physical and mental.

“Lockdown has tested us all one way or the other, so we’ve decided to test our mettle and ride from London to Brighton to raise money for Mind.”

Ibehre and his fellow cyclists set an initial target of £2,500 but have already gone well past that target.

The ride is on Sunday, May 30 and you can sponsor Ibehre and the Chain Gang at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/chaingangcyclists

Ibehre will also post updates on Instagram at @Jabmoveasy