A FATHER-of-three is cycling 88 miles today in memory of his wife.

Ray Townley, 52, will be joined by seven friends on today’s sponsored journey from Bridlington to Bradley.

The event will be followed by a fundraising night at a Huddersfield club.

Ray has organised the ride to raise money for Kirkwood Hospice in Dalton, where his wife Andrea spent some of the last weeks of her life.

Andrea was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer in November 2008 and lost her battle with the disease on July 21, 2010.

Bradley man Ray said: “She would be quite tearful if she knew what we were doing.

“On Andrea’s last day at Kirkwood she filled in a survey and one of the questions was what is your overall impression of the hospice?

“Andrea wrote, ‘if I had not been so ill, I feel like I have been on holiday’.

“She spent three weeks in Kirkwood and it is an amazing place and I hope that we can help raise some money.”

Andrea, who died aged 47, worked at the Hollybank Trust – where her two daughters Becky Brown, 26, and Laura Townley, 20, are now employed.

As Becky has three children to look after, they will complete the 88 mile journey at home – on an exercise bike.

The other cyclists include Mick Martin, Alex Tee, Ben Simpson, Mark Wilcock, Mark Riley, Brian Clark and Colin Brown.

Ray, a sales engineer, said: “Those involved were good friends of Andrea. Mick and his wife Linda were really close to her.

“We have all been training, but not done as much as we probably should.

“Bridlington was the chosen starting spot as it was Andrea’s favourite place.

“We plan to take 10 minute breaks every hour so that everybody can stay together. We will cover nine miles an hour and aim to be back by 6pm.

“A bus company is taking us to Bridlington for free and then they will shadow us, just in case somebody can’t do it.”

Ray’s route has been specifically designed to avoid steep upward hills and main roads.

On their return, the men are due to go to Bradley and Colnebridge WMC for an all-star event.

Ray has organised An Audience For Andrea, which will see performances from Stars In Their Eyes winner Vince Hughes and comedian Dave Dale.

Coronation Street’s Bruce Jones, who played Les Battersby, will also attend the event, which starts at 7.30pm.

All proceeds from the bike ride and the show will go to Kirkwood Hospice.