FORMER Accrington Stanley managing director Rob Heys is to ride more than 150 miles for charity.

The 37-year-old left the club after he admitted FA betting offences last August and was banned from football for 21 months.

Mr Heys, who is now runs an international tea and coffee sales operation, plans to cycle from his Birkenhead home to Accrington, following the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, before heading to Yorkshire to see Stanley take on Leeds in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.

He will raise money for the East Lancashire Hospice, as well as a hospices in Birkenhead and Yorkshire.

Mr Heys said: “I had a bit of free time so I took up biking. I got a new bike and I started going out on it. It does you good to challenge yourself and I have always wanted to ride the canal.

“I have just done general bike rides over the last 12 months, but I have to step it a little bit. I’m starting to think it’s a long way now. If it was not hard, it would not be worthwhile doing.”

Mr Heys smashed his original fundraising target of £300, and now hopes to raise £1,000, with the money split between the three hospices. We did quite a lot of work with East Lancashire Hospice at the football club. It’s such a fantastic, positive place,” he said.

Mr Heys was suspended from all football activity and fined £1,000 after admitting to a total of 735 breaches of FA betting regulations over the past decade.

That included 37 instances of betting on Stanley to lose, many as part of accumulators.

Mr Heys apologised for his actions but stressed that he never attempted to influence the outcome of any match or use inside information for financial gain. And he said he would like to be involved with the sport again.

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