A DETERMINED group of friends are preparing to cycle hundreds of miles across four different countries in memory of their late pal who died of cancer.

Stuart Bennett, who lived and worked in Colchester his entire life, died at the age of 49 in January 2019 after losing his battle with leukaemia.

The married father-of-four’s tragic death followed five years of treatment, which also included bone marrow transplants. 

Prior to falling ill Stuart, an accountant, regularly played football and took part in triathlons, always pushing himself to his limits.


Fittingly, five of his friends and business colleagues have now decided to cycle 444-miles through England, France, Belgium and the Netherlands on June 14.

After leaving Colchester the team will aim to complete the course within four days before finishing back on home soil in Harwich.

Lee De’ath, a close friend of “thoughtful, cheerful and positive” Stuart, is one of the pedal-pushers taking on the challenge next month.

He said: “I will shortly be embarking on one of the biggest physical challenges that I have ever faced.

“But this still pales into insignificance compared to the challenges my mate Stuart faced, and others like him still face. 

“This is an opportunity for me and some of his other close business colleagues and friends to remember and commemorate Stuart’s life.

“We will also raise much needed funds to help others facing the battle that he faced and hopefully have a better outcome.”


Lee will be joined by Paul Forsyth, Malcolm Durbridge, Magnus Baird and Martin Claydon and the group will be assisted by Shaun Mills and Michael Brock.

Their businesses Ellisons Solicitors, Hatfields, LB Group Ltd, Begbies Traynor, James & Lindsay, DCH Construction and Handelsbanken will sponsor the ride.

In addition to tackling the cycle in honour of Stuart, his friends are also hoping to raise £20,000 for Blood Cancer UK, a charity his family has chosen to support.

Lee added: “We hope to be presenting a big cheque to Blood Cancer UK at a black tie ball being held at the Le Talbooth on August 19.

“So far, due to people’s support and generosity, we have raised £10,000 - any amount you can give will be greatly appreciated.”

To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/ellisons-solicitors.