FAMILY and friends of a Blackburn firefighter who lost his battle with cancer are to raise money for charity in his memory.

Long-serving fireman Andrew Mark Howard, 45, died after the disease returned for the second time.

He was a keen cyclist and cricketer so his relatives and friends have decided to organise a fundraising day in aid of The Fire Fighters Charity to be held this month.

Mr Howard developed skin cancer in 2006 and had a melanoma removed but it came back in February 2012. He died on Sunday, July 8.

The charity is close to the heart of Mr Howard's family as they were given vital support, and Mr Howard was a fundraiser for it.

He also met his wife Lorna at the rehabilitation centre, Jubilee House, in Penrith in October 2006, when he was recovering from a cancer operation.

Lorna said: “Andrew and I had been firefighters for a number of years and was keen to support our charity.”

A sponsored Cricket match and two bike rides will take place on Sunday, September 16. The routes start from Longridge Cricket Club at 9am, with one route 25 miles via Guild Wheel and another 50 miles around the Trough of Bowland.

The cricket match will start at 1pm at Longridge Cricket Club, off Chipping Road.

Entry fee is £12 and includes refreshments.

Mr Howard joined Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service as a retained firefighter at Longridge Fire Station in April 1985. He received the Long Service and Good Conduct medal in 2007.

As well as his wife Lorna, who is a Group Commander with Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service, he leaves son Jordan, and was himself a devoted son, brother and uncle.

To donate moneyvisit howard-cycleandcricket