Ex-Man City striker reveals love of classic musicals got him through Gumball Rally

Former Manchester City striker Robbie Fowler has revealed his love for classic musicals helped him complete a gruelling 1,200-mile drive across Europe as part of the Gumball Rally. 

The footballing legend, who found the net 183 times for Liverpool before firing 27 goals for City in the latter stages of his career, admitted that blasting out songs from musicals such as Les Miserables and Moulin Rouge was the perfect way to pass the 25-hour journey.

Fowler, who was accompanied by ITV Kids TV presenter Anna Williamson, drove a British-built Range Rover as part of Team Betsafe from Stockholm in Sweden to Amsterdam in Holland, via Oslo in Norway and Copenhagen in Denmark.

“I like music, it’s no secret and I’m not embarrassed about it, but when I told Anna that I like musicals she got her phone out and produced all these songs so we could have a good little sing-song in the car,” he said.

The Gumball 3000 is an annual celebration of supercar metal, world-renowned celebrities, music, action sports and charitable fundraising.

Fowler and Williamson joined a field of exotic cars and celebrities that tackled the first leg across Europe, reaching the finish of their leg on Tuesday.

As well as passing the time with some singing, Robbie and Anna were also treated to other special events by the Gumball 3000 organisers to break up the journey.

They visited the Koenigsegg factory in Ängelholm, Sweden to have a ride in one of the 200 mph-plus hyper cars, but one of Fowler’s standout memories was driving in convoy with his team-mates across the 16km Øresund Bridge between Sweden and Copenhagen.

One of the highlights on Tuesday for Mr Fowler was the leg from Sweden to Denmark.

Mr Fowler said: “That was absolutely sensational. I’ve done so many good things in my life but driving along that bridge yesterday will be lodged in the memory bank for a long, long time. It was like we were filming an action film. It was brilliant.”

With his first experience of the Gumball 3000 under his belt, Fowler says he’d jump at the chance to contest the event again in 2016 – despite feeling ‘shattered’ when he and Williamson finally reached Amsterdam.

“This is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I’m glad I’ve done it. I really, really enjoyed it,” he said.

“If you’d asked me whether I’d do it again after I got out the car in Amsterdam, I’d have said no. But now the dust’s settled, I’d like to come back next year.”

With the European leg complete, around 100 cars and their drivers will transfer to the USA for part two.

A mix of cargo and passenger planes will shift the whole event from Schiphol airport in Amsterdam to Reno in Nevada.

From there, the route will stop in San Francisco and Los Angeles before reaching its final destination, Las Vegas, on Friday 29 May.

Image courtesy of Sky Sports, with thanks.

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