Two Cliff Richard mega-fans have topped the fundraising charts after taking on a spoke-tacular synchronised cycling challenge and raising more than £6,000 for Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity, in honour of their favourite singer’s 80th birthday.

Lottie Lindley, 57 from Gainsborough, and Zoe Gates, 40 from Leighton Buzzard, met through their love of the rock and roll star at the Cliff Richard Fan Club of Birmingham and have always got behind the club’s fundraising activities for its chosen charity. Every year the club hosts a dinner and disco, filled with raffles and fundraisers for Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity but when Lottie and Zoe realised this year’s event would be COVID-cancelled, they made it their mission to make sure the charity wouldn’t lose out on the club’s contribution.

Both keen bike riders, Lottie and Zoe had entered multiple cycling events but after they too were cancelled, the pair seized the opportunity to make this challenge their own and make Sir Cliff proud.

On a cool, windy Saturday day in August after weeks of training, Lottie and Zoe took to their saddles and both starting out at 9am from their respective homes embarked on their journeys. Lottie cycled a bumpy 50 mile off road route through Laughton Forest, while Zoe simultaneously rode 100 miles along the roads in and around Bedfordshire. Having shared their idea with the rest of the fan club, Lottie and Zoe made sure to keep their friends updated with their progress and the donations began to flood in.

After five and a half hours on the saddle, Lottie hit the 50-mile mark and crossed her finish line, surrounded by friends and family, including 90-year-old dad John, who presented her with a special trophy. Not long after, Zoe crossed her own finish line, to receive a trophy from the fan club president, Ann Bew, surrounded by her fellow cyclists and friends.

Lottie said: “We hated the idea that the charity would miss out on our club’s fundraising this year so we took matters into our own hands and what with it being Cliff’s 80th birthday this year, it just made sense to do something to combine the two!

“It was the hardest thing we’ve ever done and it was the furthest that either of us have cycled in one go, but we’re so proud to have completed it. We even received letters of congratulations from Cliff’s PA, which just made it even more special!”

Lottie and Zoe chose for their funds to go towards the charity’s £3.5 million Woodland House Appeal to bring a brand new bereavement centre to the hospital to support families experiencing pregnancy or baby loss.

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity, said: “It’s no secret that fundraising has taken quite a hit as a result of COVID-19 so we’re especially grateful for Lottie and Zoe’s superb efforts.

“The funds they raised will go towards making Woodland House a reality to help us set a new standard of aftercare for our bereaved families.”

To get involved with Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity’s Woodland House Appeal or make a donation, click here.