A HUSBAND and wife who cycled to 101 Cancer Research UK sites in memory of their former partners said it was an emotional moment when they arrived back in Oxfordshire.

Patrick McGuire and Sue Duncombe said they were 'overwhelmed', after their 850-mile mission, to be greeted by cheers and applause when they reached the CRUK Oxford centre on Thursday afternoon.

Welcomed home by family, friends and a host of other supporters, it was the end of a two-week emotional rollercoaster in memory of Mr McGuire's first wife Pam and Mrs Duncombe's first husband Philip, both of whom died of cancer.

The couple even met while fundraising for CRUK and were only married in December, making this their first holiday as husband and wife.

Mrs Duncombe, 59, said: "The key feeling when we got home was emotional.

"When we saw the 'welcome to Oxford sign' we both cheered and punched the air, but when we arrived at the research centre we were overwhelmed by the greeting."

Mr McGuire, who celebrated his 63rd birthday on the ride, added: "We both felt delighted with what we have accomplished."

The couple, who live in Childrey just outside Wantage, set off from the Wantage CRUK shop at 9am on Friday, August 4.

In their mission to visit 101 CRUK shops and research centres, they took an extremely circuitous route via Cambridge, Stratford and Birmingham to Manchester.

The highlights included arriving at Manchester and being greeted by research centre director Richard Marais and his team.

One of the low-lights of the trip, Mrs Duncombe said, was cycling through Birmingham city centre in the rain while navigating traffic and potholes.

But the epic cycle constantly kept emotions near the surface as each arrival at a new shop reminded the couple why they were on their mission.

Mr McGuire said: "Every time we arrived at one of the shops it brought it all home again."

Mrs Duncombe added: "Part of the whole emotional thing was the level of support we have had from friends, family and staff at CRUK, but when we arrived at one of the shops and they had banners and balloons in the window, it was really quite humbling."

Mr McGuire said they were also humbled to see so many volunteers for the charity giving up their free time, day after day, to help fund research into better treatment.

Mrs Duncombe agreed: "It made us feel like part of this bigger team, all contributing in different ways."

The couple were hoping to raise £6,000 with their cycle and have already raised £4,000, but called on people to help them reach their target.

Mr McGuire said they also wanted to say a 'huge thanks' to everyone who had already supported.

Find out more and donate online at 101crukshopcycle.com