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Jack gets on his bike in memory of Dad


CYCLISTS and Rugby League fans will be getting on their bikes next month in memory of one of Warrington RL Club’s past players, Paul Darbyshire
And at the front of the 50-mile Bike Ride For Darbs on June 15, will be his eldest son Jack.
It’ll be  doubly special for the 15-year-old, because the week after the ride he makes his debut for Warrington as one of the club’s promising scholarship players.
Jack was just seven when his father died from Motor Neurone Disease, and has taken part in the bike ride from its first year back in 2011.  Each year more and more people have taken part, with more than 80 joining in 2018. So far the ride has raised more than £15,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
He said: “It’s great, it shows how much everyone wants to continue my dad’s legacy by challenging themselves each year.”
Following in his father’s footsteps could put a bit of pressure on the teenager’s shoulders. Paul spent 18 years at Warrington as a player and coach  and was part of the team that went to Wembley in 1990 for the Challenge cup final against Wigan. But Jack, who also plays for Woolston Rovers,  sees his chance to play in his father’s old team as a privilege.
“It’s also a nice thing, carrying on what he did and I am really enjoying it at Warrington,” said Jack, who plays at stand off and will go up against Wigan in his first scholarship game.
The Bike Ride for Darbs has three routes, of 30, 50 and 100 miles, with challenges to suit all riders whatever their experience. It starts and ends at Winwick Leisure Centre, and there is also a ride for children, around the perimeter of the club’s field. “I’d say to anyone who wants to get involved, come and give it a try, the whole idea is to give yourself a challenge – the whole reason we are here is to raise money for a great cause,” said Jack.
Jack’s mother and Paul’s widow, Lyndsay, said: “I am so proud of Jack and what he has achieved so far with his rugby. There’s no pressure on him to do anything other than enjoy himself when he plays and I know that Paul would be proud.
“Even though Jack is playing for Woolston the day after the ride, he was determined to take part. His little brother Harry will also get on his bike and we’d love it if more people came to join us in memory of Paul and in the hope of one day getting a cure for this disease.”
If you want take part, go to bikeride4darbs.wordpress.com/register-now


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