West Country rugby fans complete charity cycle for motor neurone disease

Two West Country rugby fans have cycled the length of the UK in twelve days and visited every Premiership rugby club to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Matt Price and Mark Ward took on the challenge to raise money for the charity in memory of their close friend and former Rugby Club chairman, Simon Adams, who died from MND.

Matt said: "We're doing it because in memory of Simon, who passed away ten years ago, and we've wanted to do something to continue his legacy to raise a million pounds for charity.

"Every day has been emotional. We have met somebody who has been directly or indirectly affected by MND, so that has kind of hit home as to why we are doing it," he added.

Simon, who was also a headteacher in Plymouth, was just 46 when he died 10 years ago.

He had been diagnosed two years before.

Rugby club chairman Simon Adams, pictured here with his wife Maxine, died two years after being diagnosed with MND.

One of his wishes was to raise one million pounds to help fund research into the disease.

The pair finished the ride in Plymouth on Saturday 10 October and were welcomed by a crowd waving flags and banners.

Speaking on the finish line, Mark said: "It's been a very long trip, very hilly, and certainly feeling it today."

Matt Glastonbury, who is chairperson of the Old Plymothians and Mannemedians (OPM) Rugby club said, "One of Simon's big things was not just to raise money but to raise awareness as well so things like what Matt and Mark are doing are fantastic.

He added, "I think one of his things was that if anyone in the future is diagnosed, he wanted them to be told that there actually is a cure as well, and not just that 'you've got Motor Neurone Disease and that's it'."

Matt Price with the banner for the pair's 'Tour de Prem', a cycle ride via all 13 Premiership rugby clubs.

Throughout their 850 mile bike ride, Matt and Mark have been sent a number of messages of support from premiership rugby players.

Matt from Bristol and Mark from Plymouth said they are hoping to raise around £15,000 through their bike ride. They have also been auctioning signed premiership rugby shirts they've collected along the way to help their fundraiser.

Mark said, "I think Simon would be over the moon with what we've done, I think he probably would have raised a glass to us.

The pair have met players from many of the clubs and are now auctioning signed shirts as part of their fundraising drive.

"He probably would've thought we were absolutely insane for taking on such a task but he would probably be laughing at us in a great way."

Motor Neurone Disease is a life limiting degenerative condition that affects the nerves that control movement.

According to the Motor Neurone Disease Association, up to 5000 adults in the UK are affected by the condition at any one time.