Cyclist used pedal power for hero Lee

Graham Coates at the summit of Mont Ventoux, which he cycled up to raise money for the Lee Rigby Foundation
Graham Coates at the summit of Mont Ventoux, which he cycled up to raise money for the Lee Rigby Foundation

A fund-raiser from the borough got on his bike and took the high road to help a charity founded after the horrific murder of a British soldier.

Graham Coates, from Leigh, scaled famous French peak Mont Ventoux on two wheels in aid of the Lee Rigby Foundation.

Graham scaled the mountain, which often features on the route of the Tour de France cycle race, no fewer than three times in 24 hours in a challenge featuring just under 6,000m of climbing.

Graham was fund-raising for Lee Rigby House in Staffordshire and smashed his initial fund-raising target of £500 with the help of generous family, friends and members of the public.

Months of hard training in the saddle for the gruelling challenge paid off as the house named after the fusilier murdered outside his barracks in London will now have two flatscreen TVs paid for by Graham and his fellow pedalling fund-raisers.

Graham said: “It was the hardest cycling challenge I have ever done.

“I wanted to support the Lee Rigby Foundation because they are doing fantastic work supporting bereaved armed forces families.”

The driving force behind the Lee Rigby House is Lee’s mum, Lyn Rigby, who following the death of her son four years ago has embarked on the ambitious project to build a retreat for the grieving relatives of service personnel.

The house will open in late September.

Lyn said: “We cannot thank Graham and his friends enough for what they achieved. Every donation to the foundation will support armed forces families who have lost loved ones.

“The house is now built and it is amazing. We are, however, in need of a few more items to complete it, particularly curtains and bedroom furniture.”

To find out more about the project email admin@leerigbyfoundation.org.