BIKERS undertaking an epic fundraising journey through 30 European countries in 13 days lost one of their team in a serious crash.

The trio of kind-hearted motorcyclists are now just two following an accident that forced injured Steve Armstrong to return home.

Mr Armstrong, of Tow Law, suffered multiple fractures including a broken shoulder in the accident during the Quest for Cancer in aid of Crook’s Chyrelle Addams Cancer Support Trust.

Trish Greensmith, who founded the charity after battling breast cancer herself, said: “We were all devastated on receiving the news and Steve is understandably upset that he can’t complete the challenge. We wish him a speedy recovery.”

Mr Armstrong, 51, was travelling with fellow Willington bikers Trevor Atkinson and Tony Hurworth as well as the charity’s popular mascot, Byker Bear, who has become somewhat of a celebrity in recent months.

The motorcycle ride started on Sunday, June 3, and has so far seen the remaining pair make their way through more than a third of their target of 30 countries in 13 days.

Mr Armstrong, who is awaiting further treatment for his shoulder, crashed out in Romania on the fifth day - having ridden across more than 2,000 miles.

Mrs Greensmith, of Willington, added: “The lads are doing really well. On day eight [on Sunday] 23 countries had been completed so far.

"I would just like to add these guys are my heroes and there is not enough thank yous in the world to show how much we as a charity appreciate this amazing challenge.”

The challenge is the latest in a series of adventures the jet-setting character has experienced, having already joined forces with Durham Police Interceptors and County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service.

He has also enjoyed a spa break at Centre Parcs, a beach holiday in Spain and was recently spotted at Trump International Golf Links in Scotland.

Before the trip was underway, more than £7,000 had already been raised through their online fundraising page and corporate sponsorship.

This includes generous donations from Screwfix in Bishop Auckland, S&A Builders’ Merchants in Crook and Teesdale Motorcycles.

The money will help cover the ground fees and maintenance of the charity’s static caravan at Crimdon Dene Holiday Park near Blackhall Colliery, which provides a place for cancer patients and their families to relax together.

The bikers are set to return to Willington on Friday.

Mrs Greensmith and the team are appealing to the biking community to show their support by escorting the duo and Byker Bear from Scotch Corner Services on the A1 at 6pm for the final stretch of their journey.

The charity is organising a homecoming party at the Burn Inn, in Willington, on the same day.

The fun will get underway at 4pm, with highlights including live music by Mrs Greensmith, who is also professional singer, along with a raffle, games, competitions and more.

To keep up to date with the trip search for Byker Bear on Facebook and to donate visit