Tower to Tower charity triumph for cycling brothers

Michael and Richard Johnson and their fellow cyclists are welcomed to Blackpool by family and friends after their charity ride. Photo by Jill Reidy at Redsnapper Photography
Michael and Richard Johnson and their fellow cyclists are welcomed to Blackpool by family and friends after their charity ride. Photo by Jill Reidy at Redsnapper Photography
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Two brothers raised in Blackpool were given a warm welcome home at the end of a 500-mile Tower to Tower charity ride.

Richard and Michael Johnson were among a group of fundraisers who set off from the Eiffel Tower to reach Blackpool Tower five days later.

Michael, a former pupil of Arnold School who now lives in Somerset, organised the trip to coincide with his 50th birthday – and a family party followed , with Richard's twin brother James from St Annes and parents Derek and Dorothy there to greet their arrival on the Promenade.

Richard, 54, attended Baines School in Poulton before leaving Fylde in 1983 to study medicine in Cardiff and is now clinical director and senior surgeon at the Princess of Wales Hospital in South Wales.

The brothers were joined on the ride by friends Michael Brace , Phil Rotheram, Barry Young and Richard Onions with the aim to raise as much cash as possible for the Warwickshire-based charity Molly Olly's Wishes.

The charity was established in 2011 following the death of Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw’s eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer and Richard's aim to help it came after he met Tim through their association with the International Socca Federation – organiser of international small-sided football competitions.

Richard said: “My brother organises a riding challenge every two years and, for his 50th year we thought we should do something different.

"Originally we were finishing in Paris, but felt for this we should finish in our home town and then have a birthday party.

"I am very proud to be raising money for such an important charity.”

Rachel Ollerenshaw, a trustee and founder of the charity, said: We are hugely grateful to Richard and the team for helping to raise awareness and funds so that we can help to make the dark days of the children we support brighter.

A fund-raising event for the charity is to follow at the Viva cabaret bar in Blackpool on October 28. It will feature Ray Lewis from the Drifters and many more performers and details are available from www.apassionforlife.co.uk "