Oakham man David to ride 2,500 miles in memory of brother

David Graham. Photo: www.duodesignservice.com EMN-150218-150212001

David Graham. Photo: www.duodesignservice.com EMN-150218-150212001

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A man from Oakham has set himself the challenge of cycling to 42 cathedrals across England in memory of his brother.

David Graham, 44, a professional musician and director of Oakham-based music agency DG Music is intending to cycle to every Anglican cathedral in England in memory of his brother Allister Graham who died in 2008.

There are 42 cathedrals on his list stretching from Newcastle and Carlisle in the north to Canterbury and Truro in the south.

He will complete the challenge through a number of trips but estimates that he will cycle roughly 2,500 miles throughout the challenge, which he is aiming to finish before the summer.

David’s brother Allister grew up in and went to school in Oakham.

David said: “Allister was a fun-loving, friendly guy who enjoyed life but unfortunately suffered with mental health problems for many years.

“Sadly, these problems overcame him and he died from a drug overdose in his flat in Nottingham aged just 32.”

David’s chosen charity is Rethink Mental Illness, which supports people and the families of those with serious mental health problems.

One in four people in the UK are affected by mental health issues in one way or another and David hopes the money raised will help.

The Rev Canon Lee Francis-Dehqani from Oakham, conducted Allister’s funeral and has been very supportive of David’s effort.

He said: “The church stands with those who suffer any kind of mental distress and I hope David receives a warm welcome at our cathedrals.”

David only took up cycling last summer to help a friend on his charity ride and has been hooked ever since.

He joined the local cycling club Velo Club Rutland and regularly organises rides and is active on the committee.

The first ride is 125 miles on March 7, taking in Southwell, Derby and Leicester cathedrals.

David has set up a website where sponsors can donate via Just Giving at www.cathedralcycletour.com or people can text the code DGDG71 followed by the amount to 70070.