keighley school friends saddle-up for bike trek for Matt Hampson Foundation

Keighley News: Preparing for their coast-to-coast charity bike ride are, from left, Mark Labbett, Paul Furness, Craig Labbett, Tony Leighton, Matt Sugden and Stu Jones Preparing for their coast-to-coast charity bike ride are, from left, Mark Labbett, Paul Furness, Craig Labbett, Tony Leighton, Matt Sugden and Stu Jones

Six friends are saddling up for a coast-to-coast charity bike ride.

The sextet aims to cover a 140-mile route from Whitehaven to Whitley Bay during three days.

Together, group members hope to raise £1,000 for the Matt Hampson Foundation, which supports young people seriously injured through sport.

The mates – who met while all pupils at Oakbank School in Keighley two decades ago – have chosen the charity in tribute to the help it has given to Nathan Cubitt, the Silsden teenager who broke his neck while playing rugby in November 2011. The accident left him paralysed from the armpits down.

One of the cyclists, Craig Labbett, is a work colleague of Nathan’s mum, Sue.

Mr Labbett will be joined on the June 26-28 bike ride by his brother, Mark, as well as Paul Furness, Tony Leighton, Matt Sugden and Stu Jones.

Mr Leighton, 38, a facilities manager, said: “We’ve known one another since our Oakbank days, and football and music are common interests that have kept us in touch. We played football together for Haworth Juniors and the school.

“None of us are particularly big cyclists, but we have been training hard and it is going well.

“The Matt Hampson Foundation does amazing work and is very supportive of Nathan. My employer has offered to match-fund the amount we raise, which is great.”

The team is being sponsored by Keighley brewery Timothy Taylor, and in its honour, the cyclists have included rides between its pubs in Ripon, Leeds, Bingley, Skipton, Fence, Haworth, Oldfield, Oxenhope and Keighley as part of their training.

Mr Leighton said they are also inviting text donors to join them in a fundraising version of the social media craze, necnomination.

Visit justgiving.com/WVc2cWW or text WVCC76 £1 to 70070 to support the cyclists.

Visit matthampsonfoundation.org for further information about the charity.

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