A NORTHWICH man has completed a gruelling 160-mile bike ride to raise thousands of pounds for a cancer charity which has supported one of his best friends.

Howard Shaw, 46, rode from Northwich to Llandudno in Wales over two days to raise funds for OcuMel UK.

The national charity has helped his friend Richard Nebard, who has been diagnosed with ocular melanoma - a rare, incurable cancer which affects just 600 people in the UK every year.

“I have been close friends with Richard since we met at university more than 20 years ago," said Howard.

"Ever since Richard was diagnosed he has received wonderful support from OcuMel UK and that is why I selected them as my charity of choice.

"I do a lot of riding but this was a tough challenge, particularly on the way out when there was a lot of big hills near the end of the ride. I raised £3,200 through sponsorship which I am delighted with, I expect this will make a real difference for OcuMel UK."

Richard, 46, of Leamington Spa was first diagnosed with ocular melanoma in 2005. Following removal of the tumour in his eye and subsequent radioactive plaque therapy at the Royal Liverpool Hospital he was in good health for 11 years.

However, just days before his marriage in December 2016, Richard was given the devastating news the cancer had spread to his liver.

He is now participating in a clinical trial involving weekly immunotherapy treatment at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Wirral.

He said: “What Howard has done to raise money for OcuMel UK is fantastic, he is a great friend and his support, along with that of my other friends and family, is simply marvellous.

“The support my family and I have received from OcuMel UK has been invaluable. They have provided us with advice on available treatments and links with other ocular melanoma patients which have helped us to build up a strong support network.”