RU Vets’ charity mission

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WIGAN rugby union veterans pedalled the miles in memorial to a late giant of the club.

Players and friends made a fine sight as they made their way from Heaton Bridge to Wigan to raise funds for The Christie hospital in Manchester.

The annual ride was in memory of their former colleague and friend of many ‘Big Ger’ – late prop Gerry Cooper – who died of cancer five years ago and was treated by their famed cancer unit during his brave battle with the illness.

Fifty-five riders made the trip, which finished off with a buffet and further fund-raising at Sam’s Bar in Scholes, after calling at various hostelries en route for much needed ‘refreshments’, and raised more than £2,200 for The Christie Hospital.

Organiser Malc Holland said: “It was a brilliant day, well supported and we raised a record amount on what was our seventh charity bike ride in three years.

“I would like to thank not only the many riders who took part but to everyone who donated to this very worthwhile cause. Particular thanks also to ‘mine hosts’ Jimmy and Terri at Sams Bar in Scholes for making us so welcome’.

As usual the Vets have organised three fun fund-raising charity rides over the summer months. The next challenge is on Saturday July 2 in support of the Steve Prescott Foundation, which also supports The Christie. This ride is from Wheelton to Wigan, when it is hoped that the inspirational man himself, Steve Prescott MBE, will once again will take part. Then on Saturday, August 6, the final ride of the season takes place for Derian House Children’s Hospice.

Mr Holland said: “All the rides are open to everyone and are for the most part ‘off road’ We welcome all comers, family and friends to join us on these rides.”

For more information on the next rides, full details are on the Vets new website: www.wiganvets.com. New members are welcome to register.