A GROUP of football fanatics have successfully completed an epic 1,000-mile challenge in the saddle.

Jim Bowerman, from Crossways, and members of his family were part of a team that took on the Tour de Prem, a ride around all 20 Premier League football grounds in the country in 12 days.

The tired cyclists, who had been as far afield as Swansea and Newcastle, arrived at their final Premiership ground at Southampton just in time for a home match against Everton, where they were presented to the crowd.

Jim said: “After 84 hours of cycling and 1,040 miles we arrived at the game just in time to go on the pitch before kick off.”

However, there was still one last stop to come as they headed off to Wembley Stadium for the final leg.

Father-of-four Jim was joined by his brother Andy, brother-in-law Seamus Bowerman-Ellis and Andy’s son Josh.

The ride was organised by the Lionsraw movement, which aims to use football as a force for making a difference across the globe, and the cyclists were joined by charity founder John Burns.

Jim and members of his family joined the Lionsraw team on a charity project in South Africa during the World Cup there four years ago, helping to build changing rooms for an orphanage for children who have lost their parents to HIV and Aids.

This time round the funds they raised will go towards a football facility in Curitiba, a deprived area of Brazil.

The cyclists are hoping to raise an impressive £30,000 when all their sponsorhip money comes in, having already accumulated more than £17,000.

Jim said: “We had a fantastic response all around the country to our challenge and there is now loads of stuff on social media.”

Jim will also be spreading the word of Lionsraw to the next generation when he gives an assembly to children at Manor Park First School in Dorchester.

The school will be donating money to the charity as part of their cycling theme next week.

For more information about the challenge and to sponsor Jim or any of his fellow riders visit tourdeprem.com