A FORMER Wyre Forest man is taking on the cycling challenge of a lifetime.

Matthew Hackett, who lived in Wolverley for six years before moving to Hagley, will pedal 969 miles in nine days from Land’s End to John O’Groats alongside five of his friends.

The ride will raise money for Prostate Cancer UK, a cause close to Matthew’s heart following his father’s death from the illness 10 years ago.

He said: “I want to raise awareness of prostate cancer and encourage people to check for symptoms.

“My father was diagnosed quite late but if the illness had been spotted earlier he could have lived longer, so it is incredibly vital to catch it early and stop the disease spreading.

“It is an important cause and I hope our efforts will help.

“It is going to be a daunting challenge but I feel ready for it because I have put in a lot of hard work training, and I am sure we can have a laugh while doing it.”

Matthew, a recruitment company director who had never cycled more than 25 miles before this year, will also raise funds for Ronald McDonald House and Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

The latter was chosen because of a personal connection, after the child of one of Matthew’s close friends became ill with lymphoma last year.

Simon Whitworth, Nick Threadgold, Steve Prowse, Colin Whitbread and Ben Newson, who are all from Devon, will join Matthew on the cycle which starts on August 15 and the team are hoping to raise £15,000.

To make a donation contact Matthew on 07896 044441 or to find out more about the challenge visit le2jog.co.uk