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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Fund-raiser with a heart of gold cycling coast to coast

A former Alsager College teacher is preparing for a four-day coast to coast cycle ride, raising money for a charity close to his heart.

Fundraising fanatic David Ayre underwent a heart transplant six years ago and since recovering he has managed to raise £15,000 for New Start Charity, the heart and lung transplant centre where he received his life-saving operation.

The charity is based at Wythenshawe Hospital and is one of only five heart and lung transplant centres in the UK. It covers the whole of the North West and carries out around 60 transplants a year.

Mr Ayre, of Alsager, said: “Looking back at it, I think what an incredible learning experience. You go through it and there are so many lows and only so many highs.

“It’s an everyday thing. There’s not a day that passes when there isn’t a thought of what I went through. I often read my transplant diary, which the nurses, the family and doctors filled in.

“This experience gives me the ability to speak to people who are going through the same thing I went through.”

He added: “I waited a long time, six months but when I got my new heart it was from a young person, so as part of my payback to them I’ve held several fund-raisers. I’ve raised £15,000 so far.”

The 62-year-old will travel a total of 215 miles on his sponsored cycling challenge, starting from Southport on the west coast, travelling across the Pennines, before ending in Hornsea on the east coast.

Mr Ayre will be joined on the challenge on Monday, 21st June by old Ashington Grammar School and Alsager College friends.

In 2016, the now retired PE teacher managed to raise £10,000 for New Start Charity on a 50-mile Northumbrian coastal walk and in 2018 he took part in a golf tournament with friends and family, which raised £5,000.

To support him, visit the Virgin Money Giving website and search for Dave Ayre’s Coast2Coast Cycle Ride.

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