A FORMER Widnes Vikings player is set to take on the Three Peaks Challenge in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Gary Hulse, who starred for the club between 2005 and 2006, will be tackling the gruelling 24-hour hike alongside members of staff at his builders firm Hulse Renovations Ltd.

The 14-strong squad are planning to climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in 24 hours between 6am on Friday, August 6, and the same time the following morning.

In doing so, they are hoping to raise £5,000 for the charity in memory of friend Janet Richards – who died after a battle with the rare neurological condition.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Utility man Hulse said: "The challenge will be climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in 24 hours, starting at 6am on August 6 and finishing at 6am on August 7.

"We are doing this in memory of Janet Richards, who sadly passed away from motor neurone disease recently.

"The Richards family are close friends of the Hulse Renovations team, and we are doing this to raise funds and awareness."

Motor neurone disease is a cause close to the heart of the rugby league community, and it has been brought to the fore again in recent years by Leeds Rhinos legend Rob Burrow's diagnosis and ex-teammate Kevin Sinfield's subsequent charitable efforts inspired by his close friend – for which he has received an OBE.

The 40-year-old one-time Wales international, who also turned out for Warrington Wolves, Rochdale Hornets and Swinton Lions, added: "The awareness raised for MND by rugby league and Leeds Rhinos legend Rob Burrows, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2019, in the past couple of years has been incredible.

"We have all been inspired by the efforts of Kevin Sinfield, his team and those who supported him.

"But despite the incredible research from the Motor Neurone Disease Association, there is still no cure – we agree with Kevin Sinfield that motor neurone disease is the cruellest of cruel diseases, and we will fight until it is is defeated.

"With myself also being an ex-professional rugby league player, I can relate to what Kev has done – and me and my team would love to do our bit to help out."

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