Ex-rugby ace’s capital road trip

Duncan Platt is riding in memory of his aunt Pauline Ormerod
Duncan Platt is riding in memory of his aunt Pauline Ormerod

A former Leigh professional rugby league player converted sports to honour the memory of his aunt.

Duncan Platt, who played for Leigh from 1992 to 1994, took part in this year’s Ride London, in tribute to his aunt, Pauline Ormerod, of Eccleston, near Chorley, who lost a long battle with cancer in December 2015, aged 69.

The dad-of-two, whose brother Andrew, is a former Wigan and GB international pro rugby league prop forward, raised more than £2,000 for Rosemere Cancer Foundation, which supported Pauline at the Royal Preston Hospital.

Duncan now works as a sales manager for Continental Tyres, which sponsors Ride London, and was one of 20 employees to be allocated a company place.

He said: “Like the London Marathon, Ride London is massively over-subscribed every year. As sponsors, Continental Tyres is given a number of places and I received one, which was a real privilege.

“There were 25,000 cyclists in the event. We were all set off at different times from the Olympic Village. You ride out into the Surrey countryside and then finish in The Mall. My target was to complete the ride in under seven hours, which I achieved. More than that though, it was about raising money to support the appeal as a thank you for the care my aunt received and I would like to thank everyone who sponsored me.”

Duncan, who is also a keen golfer, is now planning to continue cycling and intends, if possible, to enter next year’s Ride London to try and better his time.

Training will be interrupted though to watch youngest son Matthew, 19, who plays football for Blackburn Rovers’ U23 team, having been at the club’s academy since the age of 10.

To date, with the money from Duncan’s bike ride and a golf day organised last summer by his uncle Eric, Pauline’s husband, the family, has raised £4,033 for Rosemere Cancer Foundation.

Make a donation to the appeal via Duncan’s family’s Just Giving page