Express & Star

Cycling-mad ex-vicar, 89, is racking up 90 miles before he turns 90 to help food bank

An octogenarian is counting down to his 90th birthday by cycling 90 miles around the Shropshire countryside - all to benefit his local food bank.

John Holden, 89, is riding 90 miles to raise money for Stretton Foodbank

Retired vicar John Holden, who will turn 90 this November, is spending this week clocking up 90 miles on his bike and raising money for Stretton Foodbank.

Mr Holden retired to Shropshire in 1998 after a career including a 12-year stint as vicar of Aston, rural dean and canon of Birmingham Cathedral.

Not long after, he picked up cycling as a way to keep fit, and has since ridden over 43,000 miles and raised over £12,000 from sponsored rides.

Eight years ago, he cycled 50 miles to raise money for the Fire Fighters Charity to thank the crews that freed him from the mangled wreckage of his car following a crash near his home.

This week, the 89-year-old has already cycled 48 miles in his latest fundraising mission for the food bank.

Mr Holden explained: "I am expecting to complete by Sunday. I have to be quite careful of course, I'm fit for my age but I have one or two health issues that I have to be aware of."