A KEIGHLEY pub owner is taking on a walk challenge to raise awareness of the disease which killed his father.

Keith Vear will cover a 26-mile route as part of the initiative, which is also raising funds.

His dad, Leslie, lost his battle against prostate cancer in 2001.

"This is a cause which is very close to my heart," said Keith, who owns Percy Vear’s Real Ale House, in Aireworth Street.

"A man dies every 45 minutes from prostate cancer.

"If by doing my challenge I can help to save just one man – through encouraging you or your loved one to be checked out at the first sign of any symptoms – it will be worthwhile.

"When diagnosed early enough, there is a stronger chance the cancer can be cured."

Keith, 47, a passionate rugby league fan, is incorporating clubs and other towns where he owns pubs into his challenge route.

He will set off from Cougar Park on Friday morning (Aug 2), head for Bradford Bulls' stadium at Odsal and then on to The Shay – home of Halifax RLFC – before finishing at Huddersfield, in time to see the Giants play Leeds Rhinos in a Super League clash that evening

Keith said the rugby league community had been hugely supportive of his effort.

The Halifax club is staging a charity day around its forthcoming game against Toulouse Olympique.

And there will be a collection at the Keighley Cougars versus Whitehaven match on August 18.

"I have been a rugby league fan since I was a teenager – my first game was Oldham versus Leeds way back in 1988!" said Keith.

"It seemed sensible to combine my passion for the game with my passion for the incredibly worthy cause Prostate Cancer UK in the hope of raising awareness of the disease – within the rugby league community but also beyond.

"Getting checked out early could save the life of a fan, or someone's father or brother, not forgetting our players and ex-players.

"The walk route also incorporates the towns – Keighley, Halifax and Huddersfield – where I have pubs."

Percy Vear's Real Ale House has been a shirt sponsor of Cougars for over three years, and Keith's Halifax hostelry – The Golden Fleece – has previously raised money for the cancer charity and is a regular sponsor of its town's RL club.

Support is also being provided by his third pub, The Old Cask Inn at Huddersfield.

Keith has set-up an online fundraising page for his challenge, which has so far raised over £2,400.

To donate, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/keith-vear.