TWO brothers are taking on a gruelling cycling challenge in aid of the hospice which cared for their younger sibling.

Ben and Dylan Wilson are saddling-up to ride the length of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal towpath – both ways!

They aim to complete the mammoth 254-mile journey over two days, starting next Friday, June 28.

The duo is raising money for Oxenhope Sue Ryder hospice Manorlands, which cared for their brother, Syd.

He died in February, aged 35.

“We cannot thank Manorlands enough for all it did,” says Dylan, 42, from Eastburn.

“Not only for the care given to Syd, but the support for the family.

“We were provided with the space and time we needed to be with Syd during his final days.

“Manorlands is an amazing charity and we will do all we can to help raise money for them so they can continue to support families like ours in their hour of need.”

He and Ben, 44, who lives at Sutton, are no strangers to cycling challenges – they’ve previously completed the Fred Whitton coast-to-coast ride in a day.

But they wanted a new test to show their gratitude to the hospice.

The pair are being joined on their latest venture by John Dobbin – a colleague at their family manufacturing business, MPM Ltd, in Bramley, Leeds – and his friend Mark Brown.

They expect the ride to take around 11 hours each day.

Ben said cycling had helped he and Dylan cope with a hugely traumatic year-or-so.

As Syd – father to a young son – battled against illness, the brothers suffered a further hammer-blow when their business premises were destroyed in a blaze.

The fire occurred in February last year, just as the firm was preparing to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

However, the directors and 40-plus staff rallied round.

The company moved to a new factory and within weeks the business was back up-and-running.

“Cycling helps clear the mind and gives you an opportunity to see the beautiful places where we live from a different perspective,” said Ben.

“It’s a great way to clear the mind and slow down your thinking.

“Mental health is critical for physical health and physical health is critical for mental health.

“With all that has happened over the last year, cycling has given us the chance to put life into perspective and talk together as brothers.”

An online fundraising page has been set-up, at, with a £3,000 target.

All Manorlands services are free to patients and their loved ones, but it costs £9,000 a day to keep the hospice doors open.