Cycling Pirates did Jack proud

The team of Todmorden cyclists, mainly former Walsden Pirates FC footballers, who completed a coast-to-coast challenge, raising more than �6,000 for the British Heart Foundation in memory of team-mate - and previous particpant in fundraising rides - Jack Hook. Here at the end of the ride at Scarborough
The team of Todmorden cyclists, mainly former Walsden Pirates FC footballers, who completed a coast-to-coast challenge, raising more than �6,000 for the British Heart Foundation in memory of team-mate - and previous particpant in fundraising rides - Jack Hook. Here at the end of the ride at Scarborough

Using their pedal power for a cycling challenge has seen a group of mainly ex-Walsden Pirates footballers raise in excess of £30,000 for charities.

Their latest ride was a poignant one, a run from Arnside, north of Morecambe Bay, to Scarborough completing their west-to-east coast ride for the British Heart Foundation in memory of Jack Hook.

The team of Todmorden cyclists, mainly former Walsden Pirates FC footballers, who completed a coast-to-coast challenge, raising more than �6,000 for the British Heart Foundation in memory of team-mate - and previous particpant in fundraising rides - Jack Hook. Here at the start of the ride at Arnside, Lancashire

The team of Todmorden cyclists, mainly former Walsden Pirates FC footballers, who completed a coast-to-coast challenge, raising more than �6,000 for the British Heart Foundation in memory of team-mate - and previous particpant in fundraising rides - Jack Hook. Here at the start of the ride at Arnside, Lancashire

Jack, who passed away in March, had been a major part of all the previous fund raising ventures.

The cyclists - Philip Clarkson, Keith Davies, Jamie Green, Vaun Barker, John Shackleton, Don Parfitt, Terry Sykes, Keith Hudson and Trevor Stansfield, ably assisted by Jim Newham who drove the support vehicle kindly donated by Shade School - added a bumper £6,000 to their fundraising total over the years, doubling their initial target.

And to boost monies raised even further, a fund raising evening is to be held at Todmorden Social Club, Halifax Road, on Saturday, November 21, with live music provided by Big Noise Acoustics and Gary “Elvis”. There will also be a disco, raffle and auction. Entry to the event (7.30pm till late) will be by donation at the door.

Dispatched from Arnside pier by John and Gillian Greenwood, they and covered the 70 plus mile day one journey to Northallerton without major problems, save John Shackleton’s chain problem and Trevor Stansfield and Vaun Barker’s wrong turning, riding about 15 miles in the opposite direction. After a Saturday evening reminiscing in a bar and a restaurant with another ex-player (Brian Horsford) and his wife it was a relatively early night with the thoughts of another 50 plus miles to ride the following day, when the only person to actually take a wrong turn on the second day was the route planner himself who arrived in Scarborough by a totally different route – strange as he already rode the same route in 2011. The cyclists were finally welcomed at Scarborough’s North Bay by Mark and Helen Howarth of Todmorden based MH Car and Bike Sales.

In addition to individual sponsorship, the group approached local companies for sponsorship and a fantastic response was achieved - they thank all, especially the shirt sponsors - Clough Mill Kitchens, Fielden Factors, Grandma Pollard’s, GM Autos/Todmorden Climbing Wall, HRS Building & Joinery, Machtech, Morrisons, Parker Plumbing , Randles Roofing, Setdale Joinery, Thermarend and John Greenwood.