Pub manager’s big push on the way to WWI tribute

Herald Series: Tom Oytaben during his challenge    Picture: OX66986 Cliff Hide Buy this photo Tom Oytaben during his challenge Picture: OX66986 Cliff Hide

SHOPPERS at Sainsbury’s Didcot had a surprise this weekend as local pub manager Tom Oytaben cycled on the spot in the supermarket.

On Saturday he cycled on a bike machine by the shop entrance to raise money for Help for Heroes. Mr Oytaben spent 10 years in the army as a corporal in the catering corps.

On June 1 he and 300 other people will take part in the Big Battlefield Bike Ride, where he will cycle from Brussels to Paris in five days.

The 350-mile journey will follow much of the Western Front to mark 100 years since the beginning of the First World War.

Mr Oytaben said: “We were told to raise at least £2,600 in sponsorship, and I’ve beaten that now thanks to fundraising over the last few weeks. I haven’t added up the total, but I think over the weekend I raised about £500.

“Sainsbury’s Didcot were so helpful letting me cycle there, and we had a great response from shoppers giving at the door.”

The 52-year-old, who works at Broadways pub in Didcot, said: “I’m training pretty hard, we’re going to be cycling 60 or 70 miles every day.”

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