Heroes’ welcome for father and son who took on epic cycle challenge

SUCCESS From left Raquel Baines, 30, Jon Baines, 21, Jan Baines, 51, Tim Baines, 49 and their other son Dave Baines, 28, who had together with Raquel made a surprise trip to Emsworth from Cork in Ireland.     Picture: Malcolm Wells (112114-9394)
SUCCESS From left Raquel Baines, 30, Jon Baines, 21, Jan Baines, 51, Tim Baines, 49 and their other son Dave Baines, 28, who had together with Raquel made a surprise trip to Emsworth from Cork in Ireland. Picture: Malcolm Wells (112114-9394)
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A FATHER and son team were given a heroes’ welcome as they finished an epic 350-mile cycle ride around the battlefields of France.

Tim and Jon Baines were part of a team cycling for the forces charity Help for Heroes which helped push the cause through the £100m fundraising mark.

The pair were greeted with cheers from friends and family at The Lord Raglan pub, in Queen Street, Emsworth, where they stopped off for a well-deserved pint on their way home on Saturday.

It was the second time the 49-year-old former soldier, from Broadmere Avenue, Havant, had completed the ride.

He said he felt privileged to join serving forces personnel, many of whom lost limbs serving their country.

‘It was absolutely fantastic, just brilliant,’ he said.

‘There were some very emotional moments.

‘Some mums and dads who had lost their sons even joined us on the ride.

‘The spirit and courage of the injured lads on hand bikes was inspirational.’

The ride began in Portsmouth a week ago and ended on Friday in a triumphant ride along to the Eiffel Tower, in Paris.

The charity has been raising money to rehabilitate injured troops for just over three years and broke fundraising records to reach the amazing landmark in such a short period of time.

Prime minister David Cameron called the milestone ‘an amazing achievement’.

The Baines family have raised just over £4,000 between them and there’s still time to sponsor them.

Go to bmycharity.com/tbainesbbbr2011 or bmychar ity.com/jonbainesbbbr2011.