A Bolton man has successfully completed a walk of 100km (62 miles) in memory of his wife.

Neil Bowden, from Horwich, lost his wife Gill in August 2021, just over two years after she was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in March 2019.

Neil decided to take up the Lake District Ultra Challenge to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, which provides support to those affected by the condition.

He has raised more than £2,000 on his JustGiving page as a result. He completed the walk in under 22 hours.

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Neil was supported at rest stops by his partner Jane, whom he met through volunteering with the association.

His feet still sore, Neil told the Bolton News: “It was very, very good. It was enjoyable – very, very well organised.”

He added: “There were times when I was thinking ‘this is not just for Gill, this is for people who are suffering, people who are caring, friends, relatives who have got MND'.

“It happened to be the same day as the Challenge Cup final as well, so there was a minutes’ silence for Rob Burrow. I looked to my watch just after 3pm and I had a minute to myself essentially thinking about people who are still in the same boat that I was in three, five, years ago, since 2019.

“That just gives you the spirit that I’m not going to give up and give in. There were a lot of tears, I’m not saying there wasn’t, there were a lot of tears when I crossed the line.

“I’m getting emotional now – there were a lot of tears because you realise you’re doing it for a reason, you know what you’re doing it for.”

Neil's wife Gill passed away from MND after living with the condition for over two yearsNeil's wife Gill passed away from MND after living with the condition for over two years (Image: Neil Bowden)

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Also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease in the US, MND is an uncommon condition which affects the brain and nerves, causing weakness that gets worse over time.

It affected physicist Stephen Hawking, who lived with the condition for 55 years.

Rugby player Burrow died from the disease on Sunday, June 2 – just four-and-a-half-years after revealing his diagnosis to the public.

If you have a story, I cover the whole borough of Bolton. Please get in touch at jack.fifield@newsquest.co.uk.