A FORMER comrade of fallen Golcar soldier Graham Shaw is to host a charity bike ride to help injured soldiers.

Richard Higgins served alongside L/Cpl Shaw in the Yorkshire Regiment in Iraq in 2005.

Richard, of Elland, then left the Army but L/Cpl Shaw, 27, was tragically killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan last year.

The 30-year-old, who now works as an machine maintenance engineer, has already cycled more than 800 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats for Help For Heroes with fellow ex-serviceman Matthew McKinley, raising almost £2,000 in the process.

Having done the hard miles himself he is now turning the focus on others to help him raise cash for the charity.

He said: “Matt and I joined the Army together and came out together.

“Graham was in the same regiment as us and when he got killed we said let’s do something.

“I know Help For Heroes is for soldiers who’ve been injured but it just brings it home.

“I know if I was still in the Army I would be chuffed to bits to know this charity is helping people.

“After we did last year’s ride people were saying, ‘why is it just up to you two, why don’t you let other people join in?’, so that’s why I’ve come up with this one.”

Richard has designed three routes, 15, 25 and 65 miles long, and has personally ridden them all to test them out.

So far 74 people have signed up to ride already and he said he was hoping dozens more would take on the challenge this Sunday.

He said: “It’s a bike ride that everybody can join in.

“The three different routes gives an opportunity for people of all abilities to take part.

“People can sign up or just turn up on the day.”

The Yorkshire Cycle Challenge is being hosted by the Pennine Manor Hotel at Scapegoat Hill.

The event will also feature a family fun day with a raffle draw with prizes including a night for two at the hotel, a helicopter ride courtesy of Pennine Helicopters and a Red Letter Day.

Anyone who wants to do the charity ride can register at www.joinourride.com or just turn up on Sunday morning.

The 65-mile ride begins at 9.30am, the 25-mile at 10.30am and the 15-mile ride starts at 11.30pm.

Participants must be signed in half-an-hour before the start.

A half-mile fancy dress fun ride for children will also run throughout the day.

Richard is still looking for volunteers to marshall the event. Contact him on 07780 600019 or via the website.