Matt Dowse (far right)

A PAIR of ex-Rosslyn Park team mates are aiming to raise over £50,000 for cancer charities with a 1600-mile cycle ride this June, and they are encouraging members of the rugby community to get in training and join them!

Matt Dowse, 40, and Andy Wyeth, 42, are taking on the challenge to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and The Prostate Cancer Charity.

Andrew Wyeth said: “We’ll be starting in Lands End and will ride up the west side of England and into Scotland. We plan to average 120 miles a day and when we reach John O’Groats, instead of jumping in a car and driving home, we thought we would save the petrol and just carry on riding back to Rosslyn Park FC! We aim to cover 1600 miles in 14 days, so it should be a pretty big challenge. We’re hoping that people of all abilities will join us for as long or as little as they want along the way – even if it’s just for a couple of hours.”

Andrew and Matt have very personal reasons for raising money – both their mothers died from cancer. Andrew’s mother, suffered from myeloma, a particularly aggressive blood cancer, so they have chosen Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to be one of the charities they are fundraising for. They both rode across America back in 2008 to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and The Royal Marsden Hospital, a specialist oncology hospital.

Matt and Andrew have been involved with Rosslyn Park in South West London since the early 90’s. Matt is captain of the National League 1 club’s second XV and Andrew Wyeth has been heavily involved in coaching and played for their first team when they were last in the top flight of English rugby in the early 1990s.

Andrew said: “Rosslyn Park, England and British Lions player Andy Ripley OBE sadly died last summer after a long battle against prostate cancer, aged just 62. Andy was one of the greatest players ever to play in the red and white of Park. He was a legend and is sorely missed. We thought that it was only right that we made The Prostate Cancer Charity the other charity of choice for the ride, in memory of Andy.

“We’re asking for your support if you are a rugby boy or girl, have been affected by cancer, or just like cycling. If you want to ride a few miles or set yourself a lifetime challenge and cycle all 1600, we want you to get involved. We’ll be organising the route, accommodation and coordinating the riding groups. All you have to do is train and raise lots of money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and The Prostate Cancer Charity.”

The ride starts in Lands End on Saturday 25 June. Averaging 120 miles a day, the riders aim to finish at Rosslyn Park FC, London, 14 days later on Saturday 9 July. Riders are invited to join the group along the way at any stage for any length of time.

Any information pack with sponsor forms is available from Bekah McDonald at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research by emailing