A FATHER has praised the 'incredible, dedicated and loving' care his dying daughter received at a hospice.

Phil Mahon's daughter Phillipa died aged just 46 from breast cancer in November 2016.

She spent the last two and a half weeks of her life at East Lancashire Hospice, in Park Lee Road, Blackburn.

Mr Mahon, a deputy head of St Mary’s Hall, Stonyhurst, and principal of Oakhill College in Whalley before retiring, said: "Philippa spent the last two and a half weeks of her life at the hospice where she received the most incredible, dedicated and loving care.

"Nothing was too much trouble for the wonderful staff and volunteers.

"We will be eternally grateful for this."

It inspired Mr Mahon to raise money for the hospice to celebrate his birthday.

So he decided to follow in the footsteps of his adventurous daughter.

She ran the London Marathon following her chemotherapy and completed the national three peaks whilst undergoing chemotherapy again when he cancer returned.

But Mr Mahon tried something different to mark his 75th birthday recently, and decided to walk 75 miles in seven-and-a-half days in memory of his daughter.

The pensioner took part in the Ribble Way Walk between May 25 and June 1 and has already raised over £2,800 - and sponsor money is pouring in.

The hospice is a registered charity which provides specialist palliative care to patients coping with life limiting illnesses from Blackburn Darwen Hyndburn and Ribble Valley

Mr Mahon said: "The hospice needs to raise £3.7 million this year to enable them to provide the care and support they give to people suffering from life threatening illnesses, both as inpatients and those in need of day facilities.

"So your support no matter how small would be gratefully received.

The Ribble Way is a long distance walk between the Lancashire coast and the Yorkshire Dales National Park largely following the course of the River Ribble.

Beginning at Longton, at the mouth of the Ribble, the route ends at Gravel Gap, north of Gearstones, near Ribblehead – its source.

Mr Mahon was accompanied by Philippa’s black Labrador Richie, who was just one year old when she died.

He was also joined on various legs of the walk by friends and family including friends from the Edisford Walkers group.

The keen sportsman played rugby union for Waterloo and Lancashire RUFC’s as well as coaching Waterloo, Lancashire and Blackburn RUFC’s.

He is now a keen golfer and skier and regularly walks with Richie.

He added: "The hospice need all the money we can possibly raise and we thank you with all our hearts.

"Mission completed, 75 miles in 7.5 days celebrating my 75th birthday and in memory of our beloved daughter Philippa.

"Some 18 walkers arrived in poor conditions but high spirits and we celebrated with champagne and song at the source."

To donate to Mr Mahon, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/philmahonribblewaywalk