Pirates sail with ease through charity target

Walsden Pirates charity cyclists - with Keith Davies, front right, present their cheque to Help For Heroes representative Kevin Mitchell
Walsden Pirates charity cyclists - with Keith Davies, front right, present their cheque to Help For Heroes representative Kevin Mitchell

THEY pounded the pedals this summer, and the efforts of a group of veteran cyclists has benefitted charity to the tune of around £9,000.

The cyclists are a group of ex-footballers, many of whom turned out for the old Walsden Pirates football team, and the latest charity “booty” brings the amount they have raised since beginning fundraising rides a decade ago to more than £20,000.

This was mainly for Cancer Research UK but this time their cost-to coast, west to east, ride over July 2 and 3 aimed to raise £5,000 which are being split between two charities, Help For Heroes and Cancer Research UK.

Those in the saddle for what may be the last time were Philip Clarkson, Keith Davies, Jamie Green, John Greenwood, Jack Hook, Chris Kelsall, Vernon Le Corre, Jim Newham, Trevor Stansfield and Alan Wood, who cycled from Arnside via Northallerton to Scarborough - in all a total distance of approximately 130 miles.

The amount was boosted by corporate as well as personal sponsorship, and a charity fundraising event held at Walsden Cricket Club a few weeks later meant they exceeded their target of £5,000 by some distance and half the proceeds - a whopping £4,050 - has now been given to Help For Heroes.

Rider Keith Davis praised the commitment local businesses had shown to their efforts in what is not an easy financial climate.

“In addition to individual sponsorship, the group approached local companies for sponsorship to help them realise their target and even taking into account the present economic climate, a fantastic response was achieved and the organisers would like to take the opportunity to thank them.

“To boost monies raised even further, the charity fundraising evening at Walsden Cricket Club, for which we thank Jim Rothwell, Gary Fisher, Keith Rudman, Gary Pickering and Terry Thompson, who all gave their services free, we held a grand raffle and again received great support from businesses and all who donated raffle prizes,” he said.

Keith said that main sponsors for the ride itself were Mach Tech Services, Littleborough, and Jayne Brearley and Co solicitors, Todmorden. He also thanked Navigation Supply, Clough Mill Kitchens, Parkside Metal Finishers, RS Motor Cycles, Ginger Taylor, Steeltech Kinetix, Parkers Plumbing and Heating Services, Gordon Rigg garden centre, Vale Bridgecraft at Mytholmroyd, Robinwood Activity Centre, Energy SP Ltd, TS Motors, Steel Design Services, HRS Building and Joinery, Fielden Factors, Shade School, JG Electrical, Chesterfield Sofa Company and Jay-Care Stairlifts and Mobility Specialists - all businesses with strong local links who helped the cause.

He added that Walsden Village Stores, Marshall’s Outfitters, Jim Bracewell, Crumbly Cheese, P&R Autos, Exchange Coffee Company, Lancs and Yorks Carpets, Star Garage, Ham Corner, Prestige Motors, Hush Health & Beauty, Queen Hotel, Morrisons, Bare Arts and Cheers were among local businesses who showed their support by donating prizes for the raffle ahead of the night at the cricket club.