Two men who cycled to every Whitchurch in the UK were welcomed home by the Mayor.

Den Leonard and Grant Valentine were given a hero’s welcome after covering the over 800-mile journey in just 11 days.

The pair cycled to all the different tons named Whitchurch in memory of Grant’s late grandmother, Alice Darlington, who sadly passed away from Motor Neurone Disease.

“She sadly passed away after a battle with Motor Neurone Disease,” said Grant. “We remember her being so loving, kind-hearted and that person you could go to with any problem. She was the matriarch of our family and is dearly, dearly missed.”

(Image: Whitchurch Town Council)

The idea was the brainchild of Den, who is a keen cyclist but Grant who admitted to being a “complete novice” took an enthusiastic approach and spent months in training with his friends.

“I bought a bike in December and was training hard ever since with regular spin classes at the local Hill Valley Gym and trying to build stamina cycling over 100 miles every week with two friends Mark and Gav,” added Grant.


The pair were given a warm welcome on their travels including being met by children from the local Montessori school in Whitchurch in Hampshire who greeted them with “flags and homemade cookies”.

The pair have raised thousands for two charities dedicated to tackling the disease the MND Association and My Name’5 Doddie Foundation – over doubling their initial target.

On their return earlier this week the pair were given a huge welcome from the town including  Mayor Andy Hall.

A spokesperson for Whitchurch Town Council said: “A big "Whitchurch Welcome" to Grant Valentine and Den Leonard, returning home what we like to consider the 'original and best'  after cycling to every Whitchurch in the UK in memory of Grant’s late grandmother, Alice Darlington, who sadly died from Motor Neurone Disease.

“Whitchurch Mayor, Councillor Andy Hall was on hand to welcome the pair back at Whitchurch Rugby Club after their epic 800 plus mile fundraising round trip.”