Press release posted 13 July 2022

One of the first riders to sign up for the iconic Manchester to Blackpool bike ride in 2022 is Rochdale AFC youth academy coach Jack Pritchard, who lives in Macclesfield.

Jack, age 25, is taking part in this year’s event to honour the memory of his cousin Jo Rowley who very sadly died of cancer last year, at the age of 36, leaving behind her husband Mark, son Cameron, age 15 and daughter Lexi, age 9.

Jo was treated at The Christie for a rare and aggressive form of adrenal cancer, first diagnosed in early 2020.

Jack said: “So many people like Jo are touched by this awful disease every day. I want to do everything I can. I’ll do this ride every year now in memory of Jo and to thank The Christie for everything the staff did for her.
“Jo was so strong throughout all her treatments, showing incredible bravery, courage and resilience. She spoke so highly about The Christie. It was her rock. Jo always felt safe and cared for by The Christie, which meant a lot to all the family.”

This will be the second time Jack has taken on the Manchester to Blackpool Bike ride. He raised £1,750 for The Christie in 2021, just 17 days after Jo had passed away.

“It was such an amazing ride,” he said. “It was great to see so many people of all ages and backgrounds coming together to take on this challenge, unified in one cause, the fight against cancer.”

Jack will be joined by Lee Wilshaw, a work colleague and fellow football coach, for the ride in 2022.

The famous Manchester to Blackpool Bike Ride takes place on Sunday 10 July and is The Christie's largest cycling event attended by over 6,000 cyclists each year.

It is an invigorating ride and is popular amongst cyclists of all abilities. The route covers 60 miles from the Imperial War Museum at Salford Quays along the scenic country lanes of Lancashire and then finishes beneath the iconic Glitterball on Blackpool’s South Promenade. After completing the ride, cyclists can enjoy a BBQ, live music and a well-earned massage.

Thousands of dedicated fundraisers will saddle up to raise vital money to support cancer patients at The Christie.

Sporting events officer at The Christie charity, Josh Hughff, said: “The Christie Manchester to Blackpool bike ride is one of the biggest fundraising cycle events in the UK and one of our best events of the year. There is a fantastic carnival atmosphere on the day. We hope that thousands more people like Jack will sign up to join Team Christie and take on this iconic ride in 2022.
“Jack is a truly dedicated fundraiser, and we are so grateful that he is supporting the life saving and life changing work we fund at The Christie. Thousands of supporters like Jack mean that we can fund vital projects at The Christie such as our new £150m world class cancer research facility, our teenage and young adult cancer research programme and the refurbishment of our art room which helps patients cope with the emotional effects of cancer.
“But you don’t have to be a cyclist like Jack to support our work. From our weekly lottery and Cuppa for The Christie to raising money with your employer, joining a community fundraising group or leaving a gift in your will, there are many ways to help cancer patients at The Christie. To find out more about how you can help, including our full programme of 18 sporting events, visit the fundraising section of our website.” 

Judith Godfrey, a 77 year old from Didsbury, was diagnosed with cancer in May 2019 and is on her second clinical trial at The Christie where she has been matched to a targeted drug treatment. “I feel very lucky to have been under the care of The Christie,” she said: “Thanks to the pioneering work that The Christie charity funds, I’ve been able to participate in two clinical trials, testing the latest cancer therapies. Without these trials, I may not have been here to share my story,” she said.

You can sign up for the Manchester to Blackpool bike ride 2022 in support of The Christie charity now.

The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to patients and their families. 

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust was the first specialist trust to be rated as ‘Outstanding’ twice (in 2016 and 2018) by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It referred to The Christie as ‘a leader in cancer care’ and ‘a pioneer in developing innovative solutions to cancer care.’ The CQC praised the Trust’s staff which it said ‘go the extra mile to meet the needs of patients and their families’ and that they were ‘exceptionally kind and caring.’ In 2017, the CQC rated The Christie as the best specialist trust in the country, and one of the top three trusts overall in England. 

Last updated: May 2023