Wheels of Steel raise cash in memory of Wigan mum

A Wigan teacher led a group of cyclists as they took part in their ninth bike ride in memory of his mother.

Saturday, 14th July 2018, 2:15 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:39 pm
The late Avril Townshend

Paul Townshend, from Ashton, and his team of loyal supporters – known as Wheels Of Steel – cycled from Wigan to Lancaster and back over the weekend.

The annual challenge has helped them to raise more than £75,000 for Cancer Research UK so far.

They began fund-raising for the charity in 2011 in memory of Paul’s mother Avril Townshend, who died from cancer at the age of 65.

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As well as the annual 100-mile ride, there have been fund-raising events at The Deanery High School, where Paul works as a PE teacher.

The riders set off from the Frog Lane school and did 50 miles on Saturday before returning to the borough on Sunday.

Money was also raised by members taking part in Race For Life, World Cancer Day and holding a match-day collection at Wigan Athletic.Paul said: “The event coincided with the ninth anniversary of my Mum’s death after a battle with an aggressive form of cancer. This event is something that is obviously very personal to me and is in support of an extremely worthwhile cause. Many of us have friends and family that have been affected by this terrible illness.

“The event takes a great deal of planning and time to organise, but is more than worthwhile. If I can do this one thing to raise some money and maybe help save someone’s life then this is 100 per cent worth it.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has donated for their support.”

Money raised by Paul and the Wheels Of Steel is helping to fund research to beat cancer sooner.

Jo Moss, Cancer Research UK’s local fund-raising manager for the North West, said: “Paul and his team have made a huge contribution to Cancer Research UK’s work over the past nine years and we are incredibly grateful for their continued support.

“One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their lives, but the good news is more people are surviving the disease now than ever before.

“Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress.

“However, we have only been able to achieve this thanks to the dedication and commitment of volunteers and supporters like Paul and his family and friends, without whom we would not be able to fund our life-saving research.”