DEVOTED dad Steve Hall has raised more than £7,000 to help his daughter and fellow sufferers from alopecia after cycling the coast-to-coast ride in just one day.

Fish and chip show owner Steve, from Bedale, was a bit dubious himself that he could complete the 150 mile trek from Blackpool to Scarborough. He only took up cycling four years ago and at the beginning of the year his longest bike ride was just 60 miles.

But he was determined to support daughter Naomi, 27, who works for Alopecia UK after being struck down with the disease totally out of the blue five years ago when she was 22.

Steve, 57, has been getting on his bike for months to train and prepare and with the backing of family and friends including wife Maureen and daughter Naomi in a support car did the mammoth trek in 10 hours 43 minutes.

“I was really pleased to have done it,” said Steve. “People did parts of the route with me, including my brother Kevin who did the last 35 miles into Scarborough and it was one massive relief. I’ve raised over £5,000 and Kevin over £2,000 it’s been amazing.

“The worst part was when it started to rain and you hit a wall mentally. But I thought it’s just me on my bike you have to keep going and it’s such a worthy cause and so close to us there was no question I wouldn’t finish.”

Steve even called in at Alopecia UK’s headquarters in Shipley for a pep talk with staff. He decided to do the coast-to-coast as the most challenging thing he could think of to support Naomi after seeing her go through the trauma and anguish of alopecia areata.

The disease leads to the loss of all or part of head and body hair. Naomi has now helped to make a special video called Shedding with other sufferers,who shared their stories about the impact it can have and how they have worked to not let it define their lives.

Steve said:”It was a terrible thing for Maureen and I to see our daughter go through – for her it was devastating. But we are so proud of how she has battled to combat it and the work she is doing with Alopecia UK.”

Naomi said it had taken her some years to come to terms with the effects of the condition which meant at one time she would not go out without a wig and false eyelashes. Now working with Alopecia UK she is trying to help improve the lives of people affected through Support, Awareness and Research.

She added: “It’s hard to express how proud I am of my dad’s epic bike ride. It’s a huge personal achievement and it’s been an amazing fundraising and awareness effort for the charity. He is one of our top fundraisers this year and I know Alopecia UK can’t thank him enough.”