Hornets goalkeeper Ben Foster has praised those who took part in Beryl’s ‘Ride for Watford’ campaign after it raised more than £2,800 for the town’s Covid appeal.

The initiative was run by Watford’s bike share operator, in partnership with software innovator, with every trip on a Beryl Bike in a two-week period resulting in 50p being donated on the rider’s behalf to the Watford Helps Covid-19 Charities Appeal.

Additional money was secured via text donations and Beryl donated 20 per cent of the total value of minute bundles purchased during the campaign.

The Watford FC goalkeeper, who is a keen cyclist, said: “I’d like to offer a massive thanks and congratulations to those who got behind this unique and worthwhile campaign to help vulnerable people in Watford.

“Your efforts will go a long way in making a real difference to local charities that are working top get vital money to where it is needed most. Cycling is a great passion of mine and I hope this initiative has spurred on residents of Watford to take more journeys by bike where possible.”

Beryl recorded 5,676 rides and 18,925 kilometres ridden during the ride-to-donate initiative, with 468 rides taken on a single day.

Since the Beryl Bikes service launched in March, rides in Watford have exceeded the 50,000 mark during the campaign.

Beryl and Watford Borough Council anticipate even more will follow with new bays recently installed at Meriden Community Centre, Watford Cycle Hub (Chaffinch Lane), Cassio Common and Knutsford Playing Fields.

Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “This has been an incredible fundraising initiative from Beryl and PLM Central for the Watford Helps Covid Appeal which now stands at £155,882. It is an amazing example of our local business community stepping up to support our town during this time of adversity.

“A big thank you to every resident who got involved with this and purchased the minute bundles. With over 5,000 rides, it is clear that people want to help Watford charities and their work. The donations will go a long way to support the outstanding work our voluntary sector is carrying out for those in need across the town”