TWO brothers have completed a gruelling cycling challenge in aid of the hospice which cared for their younger sibling.

Ben and Dylan Wilson rode the length of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal towpath, both ways.

And their mammoth 254-mile journey raised a whacking £6,000 – double their target.

The duo was coining-in cash for Oxenhope Sue Ryder hospice Manorlands, which cared for their brother, Syd.

He died in February, aged 35.

Also taking part were John Dobbin – a colleague of the brothers at their family manufacturing business, MPM Ltd, in Bramley, Leeds – and his friend Mark Brown.

Ben, 44, from Sutton, said: "Whilst the cycle ride was a real challenge, it was also fun and gave me a sense of achievement.

"Our team spirit kept us going, particularly when we had to dig deep in the final run-in to Leeds.

"It was an emotional ride, remembering Syd, but we were proud to be doing something to support all the hard work the hospice does to help families like ours in their darkest hours."

The team covered the route in just over 20 hours.

Thanks were expressed to Novotel in Liverpool, which provided the quartet with a picnic meal for its homeward leg.

Dylan, 42, from Eastburn, and Ben 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.

"We cannot thank Manorlands enough for all it did," said Dylan.

"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."

Ben said cycling had helped both 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.”

Donations following the challenge can still be made at