A cancer survivor who has cycled thousands of miles for charity has had his beloved bike stolen.
Kirkhamgates Fisheries boss Andy Cooper had his bike - which is called ‘Nigella’ after the TV cook - taken from outside his home on Greenlay Drive on Sunday afternoon.
To him it’s much more than a bike.
The granddad of seven said: “I bought the bike when I had prostate cancer to help me recover.
“I bought this bike and undertook charity rides. In 12 months I did rides for Help for Heroes, Missing People and blood cancer. I helped raise over £45,000.”
He has cycled more than 3,500 miles on it.
Mr Cooper, 52, also used the bike when he rode with veteran Tour de France cyclist Brian Robinson for a feature on The One Show. He also rode it in the “ghost peloton” in the build up to the tour.
Mr Cooper said: “I’m not after sympathy or glory I just want the bike back. Not having this bike has stopped me raising money and awareness for Team Cystic Fibrosis.”
The bike came by its name, which is emblazoned on its frame, after Mr Cooper raffled it off for charity.
The person who won it named it after Nigella Lawson but then gave it back to Mr Cooper.
The bike was stolen at about 4.30pm on Sunday.
Mr Cooper had been washing it but popped inside the house for two minutes. Nigella had vanished when he returned.
The cyclist took to social media to appeal for ‘her’ return.
He wrote on a Facebook post: “If you know me you know I don’t do soppy mush, but I need your help. Please Help. She helped me when I was in recovery from prostate cancer
“She cycled over 3,500 miles in just over a year helping to raise more than £45,000 for various charities: Missing People, British Heart Foundation, blood cancer, North west air ambulance, Help for Heroes.
“And had now found a cause to concentrate on, Team Cystic Fibrosis.
“However someone decided to steal Nigella thinking it’s just a bike!!! Well it’s not, it’s my bike and although not a very expensive bike compared to most and a tad heavy and slow it’s mine and I really want her back. I am gutted so please can you share so I can maybe get her home, thanks.”
Anyone with information about the missing 2013 black Secteur bike should ring the fish shop on 01924 290827 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.