OXFORD City Football Club coach and handyman Roger Cherry described his 920-mile charity cycle ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats as the hardest task he has ever undertaken.

The 41-year-old completed the journey in just 12 days, raising £1,000 for the British Heart Foundation and Helen and Douglas House hospice in Oxford.

But he almost didn’t make the start line after his lift and back-up transport backed out at the last minute.

A friend stepped in and Mr Cherry, of Shearwater Drive, Bicester, and his bike were dropped off by a lorry near the start point at Land’s End.

He said: “I started the ride on May 14 and twelve days later finished. I did it on my own and no-one helped me at all.

“Each day I would phone my wife about 3pm and we would agree a town I would go to, and she would book a bed and breakfast.”

The father-of-two described the ride as the hardest thing he had ever done. He said: “On the third day I hit the wall they talk about where you just can’t carry on.

“I just sat with my head in my hands in tears, then I had something to drink and just got on my bike and carried on really slowly.

“I had a near miss with a bus and twisted my ankle. The last three days I cycled with a sprained ankle.

“I had to go to hospital when I finished and the doctor told me I wasn’t allowed to ride a bike for three weeks.

“It was really hard – the hardest thing I have done in my life. I took every day as it came and every day was different.”

It was not the first time Mr Cherry attempted the challenge. He tried it 11 years ago but ended up in hospital after damaging his knee.