A ROWDE man is taking on a poignant journey across Great Britain in honour of his late wife.

John Dalley lost his wife Delia, known as Dee, on July 14.

She was diagnosed with liver cancer in June 2020 and was given only six months to live.

John, from Rowde and Dee from Potterne, met at school and were together for 17 years.

“She was just 55,” he told the Gazette.

“Dee was bubbly, kind and loving – she was a really lovely lady. We’ve been cheated out of a loving mother and grandmother.”

Dee worked as a carer across the county and had a gentle and positive spirit. She will be missed by her family, as well as the Rowde community.

She leaves behind a daughter, Gema and a son, Liam.

John is currently taking on a massive fundraising journey across football, cricket and rugby grounds to raise as much money as he can for both Dorothy House Hospice Care and the RUH’s Forever Friends Appeal.

Back in 2011, John had visited all 92 football league club grounds on a 30-year-old Honda 250 Superdream and raised £3,500.

The ride celebrated the 25 years since he and the late John Pearce founded Rowde Football Club.

He had hoped to do a similar ride for his ten year anniversary, but did not expect that Dee would not be by his side for the journey.

“Dee went downhill really rapidly, the cancer absolutely ravaged her,” John said.

“She fought long and hard, and very bravely. She really encouraged me to do this and knew I’d been wanting to do a 10 year anniversary ride anyway. She held my hand and said I had to do it.”

John started the challenge last week and will finish at Dorothy’s House on Monday, August 16.


John Dalley in 2011

John Dalley in 2011


He will travel around 3,000 miles on his motorbike and has already ticked off grounds in Oxford, Swindon, Northampton, Burton and Birmingham.

With many more to go, he hopes to reach Scunthorpe on Saturday (August 7) in time to see Swindon Town kick off their new season.

Next week he will take in the beautiful sights of Scotland as he travels through the country on coastal and Highland roads before crossing the border back to England.

This final day of the ride will take John to Forest Green, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Worcester, Swansea, Cardiff, Newport, Bristol and Bath.

John told the Gazette how he already battled through rain, wind and gruelling distances in the fundraiser.

“It feels like flying on some of the roads,” he said.

“And the support from the parish of Rowde has been very touching. Everyone has been very supportive. They have been just amazing.”

John has already raised £1,145 of his £5,000 goal.

He added: “I have to do this in her memory. I couldn’t sit back and do nothing. People don’t realise how important the work of Dorothy House is until they experience them first hand.”

Go to https://bit.ly/3CdZ6XS do donate to his fundraiser.