Ryan’s star-studded team hit the road to help hospice

The start at the Halfway House, South Shore
The start at the Halfway House, South Shore
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Fylde coast sports stars again rallied to the cause to boost South Shore fundraiser Ryan Smith in his latest charity venture.

Big-hearted Ryan’s latest idea was for a sponsored run or cycle ride to North Pier and back from the Halfway House pub in South Shore to raise money for Blackpool’s Trinity Hospice.

Among those accepting the challenge were BBC football pundit and former England winger Trevor Sinclair, British boxing champion Matty Askin and fellow Fylde fighters RP Davies and Bill Hodgson.

The boxing fraternity was out in force as Calum Holmes, Mark Alder and Tom Scott from Sharpstyle Gym in Blackpool also supported the event, as did former Blackpool, Fleetwood Town and AFC Fylde footballer Lee Thorpe.

Around 15 tackled Saturday’s fundraiser with ‘Big Ryan’, who himself completed the course in 45 minutes.

Ryan told The Gazette yesterday: “I’m a bit stiff but it’s worth it for people who are poorly.

“It was a mixture of people running and on bikes and there were some good times, but most importantly we should raise around £1,200.”

And that figure could certainly rise as Ryan’s JustGiving page will be up and running for a further month for donations to help boost palliative care at the hospice. Online donations are welcome at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michelle-rawcliffe

The official starter for Saturday’s event was Maureen Warner, who lost her son, a good friend of Ryan’s, last year. Others Ryan wishes to thank for their support include Paul Hugo and Kelly Kevill.

Special thanks to Theresa Alder, who waited at North Pier with welcome supplies of water for the runners and cyclists on their arrival.